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living well is a whole church discipleship programme (with adult and youth versions) aimed at keeping God at the centre of everything we do. Being a Christian is more than simply being a good person. A Christian is a follower of Jesus Christ who as the Son of God invites men and women of all ages into a real relationship with him.
Over the past 2 years at Christ Church we have been considering how we can live well with God, ourselves, and others as a way of working out how to fulfil our vision. This vision is twofold;
“Christ Church as a Living Well, and Christ Church living well”
with the first part considering how we might develop our facilities and activities so that the building of Christ Church can be a resource for all, something we can draw on, like water from a well, hence the phrase ‘Christ Church as a Living Well’ – a place, or destination.
The second but arguably more important half of the strap line is ‘Christ Church living well’. This encourages each of us to have healthy holistic, Christ – centred lives. This is a what discipleship or following Jesus is all about. When we live well, and I don’t mean excessively, but thoughtfully and responsibly, we honour God, one another and ourselves, and hopefully make the world, or certainly our little part in it, a better place.
As Christians, we need to stand up and be counted, making a difference in society. I believe living well is one way in which we might begin to do this, and I want to encourage all members of our church family to take up this challenge.
Producing the living well booklet has not been easy. It has been an intensely personal experience. Certainly, I would not ask you to do anything I was not prepared to do myself. It is fully endorsed by the PCC and is intended we take it seriously. We will be planning in opportunities across the liturgical year for review. It is a significant moment in the life of this church community, building on previous attempts to create a common way of life. It is a step towards modelling a rule for life as promoted by monastic communities. Nevertheless, we recognise that not everyone is in the same place in their spiritual journey. It is hoped you can access this at whatever stage you are at, and each person must adopt and adapt it for themselves. As such we have tried to make it as simple and manageable as possible and will be offering support both through worship and courses throughout the year as part of our three ‘Call to’ programmes – the Call to Pray, Call to Discipleship, and Call to Mission. We also suggest each person finds someone they trust to help them think through how things are going.
It is not intended for this booklet to sit on the shelf, or even to be a bookmark in your Bible. It needs as the special prayer for Bible Sunday says, ‘to be read, marked, learned and inwardly digested!’
Please download it and read it carefully, decide how best you can use it, it’s not meant to be a burden, neither is it a ‘to do’ list or a pass/fail – we will do what we can.
Ultimately everyone’s personal journey with God is unique, but for this to be a living document we are seeking to do it together. As such we hope to fulfil our long-term vision of being drawn ever closer to God, transformed into the likeness of Christ, and sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit to love and serve the world.
There are 7 specific areas for living well and suggested holy habits under each, some of which might be done more regularly than others. Some of them many of us probably do already, it’s just a question of being more intentional and developing them so they come as naturally as breathing. Why do we think it’s important to look after ourselves - because our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Why should we make time for our friends - because we are mirroring God’s love for the world.
The suggestions are by no means exhaustive it is hoped that living well will grow and develop over the years. We want to hear from you the things that you find helpful in discipleship too and there is a suggestion envelope on the noticeboard at the back alternatively you can email or tweet them. The back page includes space for you to write down your own targets and by signing and dating them making them a real commitment.
The only way our church community is going to grow is through us living authentic Christ centred lives that are attractive for others to join in too.
Rule for Life guide
Youth Rule for Life guide