IT IS good to hear again the need for the Church to encourage people to become disciples. So often we are caught by maintenance and money matters that mission is on the back burner. Or we use our churches as “service stations” rather than mission stations. Once we have visited our service station, we should go out empowered.
Simon Reed says that one of the most pressing issues in today’s Church is encouraging people to become true and effective disciples of Jesus Christ. Discipleship should be part of every Christian’s agenda; it should be part of our way of life. But we all need some guidance. Simon Reed argues that we are looking at a lifelong process for which we require long-term skills rather than short-term courses. Followers of the Way seeks to inspire authentic Christian discipleship and a deep love of God. To do this, the author offers ten guideposts, which he calls “Waymarks”.
“Be a lifelong learner” includes Bible study, the reading of creation as the primary scripture, learning from life experiences, and from other Christians past and present, and the use of our imagination.
“Journey with a Soul Friend” shows that it is necessary to have someone who is already a disciple to be a guide and to meet them regularly. This also includes going on retreats and pilgrimage.
“Keep a rhythm of prayer, work and recreation” has the primary emphasis on prayer.
“Live as simply as possible” looks at giving our whole self to God in worship, also our use of money, possessions, and relationships.
“Celebrate and care for creation” includes our use of energy and other things. Also, how we should not support those who do not care for creation.
“Heal what is broken” is concerned with the healing of people, places, communities, relationships, and ourselves
Be open to the Holy Spirit and listen.
“Pray for good to overcome evil” says that we need to be aware of the forces of evil at work in the world and in our communities.
“Pursue unity” involves our working together as Christians and breaking down barriers.
“Share Jesus and justice” is concerned with our working with Jesus against the poverty and injustice of our world.
At the end of the book, there are very good notes offering other points of reference.
Canon David Adam is a former Vicar of Holy Island.
Followers of the Way: Ancient discipleship for modern Christians
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