One of the things that stood out to me as I studied the rhythms and ethos of the early church in Acts 2:42-47, was that they were a practicing church. They took the wonder and glory of Pentecost and they channeled it into sustainable, transferable, transformational practices and that shaped and defined their community.
I was challenged afresh to be a person who not only talks about being a follower of Jesus, but one who actually lives in the way of Jesus. I’m reminded what Dallas Willard wrote in his brilliant book The Divine Conspiracy:
“The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.”
― Dallas Willard
How to live… I think it’s something that modern evangelicalism has a tendency to overlook. I’m not talking about legalism and a heavy set of ‘to do’s’, I’m talking about a glorious set of liberating rhythms that invite us to the easy yolk of Jesus. One of the rules of practice I’ve been intrigued by was proposed by author and pastor, Michael Frost.
In order to make this rule memorable, Frost uses the acronym B.E.L.L.S.
Bless Others – seek to bless (or encourage) at least one person each week.
Eat Missionally – Sharing food has always been central to a life of community. The invitation is to eat with 1 person this week (preferably a non-Christ follower).
Listen to the Spirit – this practice begins with the conviction that God speaks and in order to hear him we need to create space and time to do so.
Learn Christ – living in the way of Jesus begins by renewing our mind with the truth of the scriptures. Spending time in the word of God is important because God uses it to shape and form his people.
Sent into your neighborhood – living as ‘sent’ people is central to what it means to become the people of God – we embrace his mission and the desire to see the renewal of all things. Being sent as Jesus was sent is a central belief that leads to making this a reality.
If you would like more information from Frost himself (instead of my brief summaries) you can download a podcast and a free e-Book below:
- Book: https://www.exponential.org/resource-ebooks/the-five-habits-of-highly-missional-people/
- Podcast: http://www.exponential.org/resource-podcasts/michael-frost-5-habits-of-missional-people/
I want to encourage Life Groups to explore what it might look like to embrace either this practice or a similar one. I will post a few more times this week with other options. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!