Rule of Life Group
How do we get to know God? The contemporary church often gives the impression that this “knowing” can be instantaneous, or that it can “just happen”. However, our own experience and about twenty centuries of Christian spiritual teaching suggest otherwise. Knowing God is an intentional activity, a task which requires application, commitment, monitoring, energy and learning. It also requires a motivation: namely, the desire for God. We’re at our best as Christians when we tap into the desire which drives the search to know God – which is, after all, the main purpose of living.
The purpose of this group is to provide a base for our shared search, including:
- Shared commitment to support one another in our getting to know God
- Study of Christian teaching and practice about the spiritual life – particularly in interpreting ancient wisdom for contemporary lifestyles
- Encouraging one another in becoming more intentional and focussed in getting to know God
- Sharing resources, successes and failures in our prayer-journeys
- Helping one another set and maintain a personal rule of life
For much of its history, Christian spiritual teaching was focused and tested in the context of monasticism. From around the middle of the 3rd century AD, holy men and women left the security of city life and sought the wilderness, to focus their lives (in small communities, or sometimes as hermits) entirely on the search to know God. From the monastic context grew the main body of Christian teachings on the spiritual life and a host of resources. For various reasons, the value of monasticism has often been ignored in the mainstream church. However within Emerging Christianity, a strand is developing known as “new monasticism”, which seeks to reinterpret the teachings and practice of classic monasticism for ordinary Christians who want to be serious and intentional in knowing God.
The Rule of Life Group taps into this to some extent without too much self-labelling which smacks of “playing monks and nuns”.