One of the ways to deepen your thinking and actions is to take time to listen and learn from others. For this challenge, check out Woodland Hills Church’s collection of resources. Alvin Toffler said that “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” Part of this then is being prepared to surrender what we believe and act.
As personal reflection and challenge for the month, write down responses to these questions. In light of black lives matter: how am i going to be generous with my finances? how am I going to be generous with my voice? How I am going to be generous with my time? How am I going to be generous with my ideas?
Who could you send time listening to? Where could you spend leisure time? Many of us get caught in patterns of behaviour and visit places that are convenient / traditional for us. Perhaps part of this month provides you with an opportunity (specific country quarantine rules pending) to visit other places and people – and perhaps at other times – in order to live and learn in a new way. Our aim is to people who are engaged and active not passive and critical. This challenge is about allowing God and his people to reach out to you – will you embrace new places, people and schedules in order for him to deepen his relationship with you and your understanding of the Kingdom?
The drive to improve your own fitness, health and diet is something that many people concentrate on come January.
Instead why not not make the generous step towards helping someone else this January – be it their physical, social, mental or spiritual health.
Instead of starting the year focusing on yourself find ways to help that someone who could do with your help.
Think prayerfully, strategically and compassionately.
Who’s new year could you help start better?
With your HUB or the friends you spiritually journey with, consider the possibility of a trip, expedition or journey together this year. (even if you don’t live geographically close to each other)
Have a conversation guided by the themes of love, generosity, surrender or mission and ask yourselves “what places or locations could or should we travel to?”
The trip could be as short as a few hours or as long as a few days. But maybe there is a place or a people that you could bless or learn from together.
Spend some time planning and plotting!!
Assign some tasks – pray together – and give yourself a specific time to agree on the location. Then get to work.
These 4 locations accompanied by the 4 suggested devotionals give you the opportunity to approach Advent in a different way and hopefully discover new depths of insight into living a life of love, surrender, mission and generosity. During the 4 weeks of Advent we’d encourage you to plan trips to these four locations/scenes, or if that’s not possible then you can use the video resource to help set the scene. Pack a notebook and a friend for the journey!
Let us know if you’re going to try and explore this journey using the form below – we’ll keep you updated with fellow practitioners around the world!
Days to turn off tecjnology and pursue Jesus instead. Designate some times, days out perhaps longer to “turn off but tune in”. Allow space for God to speak to you during those “unplugged times”.
On October 11 it is International Day of the Girl. You can find out more https://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/. Why not consider finding a way to support, pray and work towards justice that is so badly needed for girls around the world this month. In your HUB, or with your friends and family discuss ways in which you could show practical levels of love.
Focus on 1 John 2: 1-17 this month. Attempt to read this passage morning and night for 1 month. In the morning see it as a directional and positioning passage – posturing you towards love. In the evening see it as an “examen” – thanking God for how you’ve experienced his love and offering those times you felt disconnected from this truth.
Create an “end of day” daily habit of placing any loose change in a jar. Either do it personally or encourage other family members or work colleagues to join you at end of month total up what you have collected. Choose a person and or cause to give to – how did the jar shape your decisions or thoughts through the week.
Create a daily habit of writing down one generous action or comment you’ve observed during the day. Either write it down on separate bits of paper and place in a jar to examine later in the month or Make a note on your phone or laptop. Review at the end of the month. What did you learn? What surprised you? What are you going to do differently now?
Use the resource – ‘How are you following’? To explore your discipleship in your HUB this month. There’s a helpful video and diagram to explore some of your recent experiences and put things in place for the weeks to come.
Pursue a new, or renewed spiritual discipline for the month. Be it fasting, study, meditation, solitude or worship, try to incorporate a new aspect of following Jesus into your schedule. Evaluate how this helps you follow Jesus more closely, and in particular a closer commitment to surrender, generosity or mission.
Make a commitment this month to pray for a church that you regularly pass or is near you in the community. Pray that they will find new depth and love for Jesus. You might even like to look for opportunities to serve or encourage them over the coming weeks.
Take on a few practical tasks to bless your neighbours. We’ve heard of an Infinitum HUB where they’ve washed their neighbours car without them knowing, and another who have baked biscuits/cookies as anonymous gifts. As a HUB commit to blessing your neighbours in someway this coming month.
Discuss in your HUB an item that you would like to share with your fellow member(s) for a month. It might be a car, a tv, a book, a regular meal, or maybe a task! Take it in turns to plan together how sharing this time/activity would look over the coming months and then discuss after the 28 days its impact.
Both the book of Matthew and Acts have 28 chapters. Chose one of the books and read together in your HUB a chapter a day through February. You could use these simple questions to help your discussion. 1.What have I learnt for the first time by reading this passage 2.How does it change my understanding of God? 3.How does it help strengthen my commitment to surrender, generosity and mission?
Read in your HUB Genesis 18 v1-10.The promise of a son seemed impossible for Abraham and Sarah after 25 years, but God assured them that ‘this time next year’. Share in your HUB some of those hopes and prayers that you’ve been holding on to for many years and pray together that they may come to pass, by this time next year.
Reflect back in your HUB on the most significant book or film you read/watched last year. Share how it demonstrated or led you to a deeper awareness of Jesus’ presence in your life. Pray together and choose someone to gift that book/film to with a note sharing your experiences.
Google Map a location within your own continent that you know is a risky or dangerous place to live – it might be through violence, war, famine or displacement. Use the google map tool to find out its distance from your house by car, public transport, and walking. Use this as a prayer tool this month and discuss with your HUB how this changes your relationship with the situation.
As we approach Advent, many will be turning to the start of the gospels for readings and reflections in the coming weeks. In your HUB this month, try exploring together the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. You might like to use this video from The Bible Project. What does this teach on Surrender, Generosity and Mission?
October is Modern Slavery month in the UK. As a way of praying for those in slavery around the world, try praying every time you use your keys to open a lock. Whether opening your front door or your car, take time to pray for those who are trapped physically. spiritually, and emotionally.
In your next HUB meeting read together 1: Peter 3:15 – ‘…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have’. Use the accompanying questionsto reflect on how others might be prompted to discover the hope in your life.
In your next HUB meeting try creating a parable together. You might want to focus on an existing example in scripture, or use experiences/situations from your own community. Discuss who you could share this story with to help communicate the truth of the God’s kingdom.
Take 10 minutes to simply sit in one of the rooms of your home and consider all of the objects and items that are in it (furniture, technology, etc). Spend time reflecting and thanking God for the generous actions/sacrifices of those who have provided what you have.