Jesus in the great commission in Matthew 28 gave instructions to his followers to go and make what?…not converts…not church members….but ‘disciples of all nations.’ He demonstrated in these last words of his, that one of the core businesses, maybe even the core business of the church, was to make ‘disciples, who made disciples.’ But what does it mean to be a disciple? What does a disciple ‘look like’? What are we seeking with God’s help to become?
Here at St Andrew’s and All Saints, in order to help us understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus, we’ve been using the ‘Rhythms of Grace’ which have been taken from material produced by the Community of Saint Chad. These rhythms provide us with a really helpful framework and language for us as we seek to grow as whole-life, life-long followers of Jesus.
The phrase ‘Rhythms of Grace’ comes from the Message version of Matthew 11:28-30…
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
These five rhythms are not to be seen as a set of rules that dictate how we are to behave, but rather act as a series of aspirational statements which we are all invited as disciples of Christ, and in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, to aspire to.
They are the ‘rhythms’ – the patterns of life – which we as Christians want to cultivate so that we can grow more like Jesus and become the people He wants us to be.
The five rhythms begin ‘by God’s grace…’ thus reminding us that this is not simply about us ‘trying harder’ in our own strength, but about us being open to God to transform us and mature us by His grace, and through His Holy Spirit.
The Rhythms of Grace Small Group Material can be downloaded here.
Further resources can be found here.