I spent some time reflecting recently on my need to cultivate better habits in my life. Not the kind of habits that have to do with exercise and eating – I’m working on those, too.
I want to cultivate better spiritual habits that help me to incorporate missional practices into my weekly routine. Of course, there is a danger in writing about this before I actually have succeeded in developing these habits. However, I also realize that there is a sense of accountability that comes as I sincerely declare my desire to grow in these areas of my life.
Often as I think about and even train others to consider the practical implications of following Jesus, I frame the conversation to look at three specific areas of Faith, Hope and Love (see Missional Circles).
Faith Habits focus on Embracing the Cross!
Love Habits focus on Experiencing Community!
Hope Habits focus on Engaging the Culture!
What specific actions could you take on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that would enable you to more fully follow Jesus in each of these three areas?
Can you think of 2-3 habits that you’d be willing to commit yourself to for the next 3 months? You can decide the frequency of repetition…
Here’s what I’ve been considering:
1. Daily S.O.A.P journaling and commitment to obedience
2. Daily confession & prayer (personal and with my wife)
3. Weekly fasting (one meal or one day)
4. Weekly celebration of communion
1. Weekly connection with my core group
2. Weekly gathering with my community group
3. Weekly meal, coffee, or activity with Christians
4. Daily acts of kindness or service to encourage believers
1. Sharing my grace story or S.O.A.P. journaling insights with others (3x/week)
2. Weekly service activity to bless unbelievers
3. Daily prayer for both unbelievers and harvest laborers (Lk 10:2)
4. Weekly meal, coffee or activity with unbelievers
Some of these will be a stretch for me, others are a natural rhythm of my life. Altogether these 4 daily activities, 7 weekly activities and 1 3x/week will help me to follow Jesus fully and to embody His mission. That’s why I want them to be habits.
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.