Some important developments are:
Two families have indicated a living faith in Christ as the worthy One to follow in their lives. As whole families. This is really beautiful to watch, as the family members can understand each other and support each others’ decisions on this.
It was the most natural thing in the world to slip into an Action / Reflection process with them. “What does following Jesus look like for them?” So we plan to try things, (specific to our lives, and then reflect on them next time we meet.
At the same time, Sally and I were reflecting on why most others didn’t seem to be growing in initiative & self-responsibility for engaging with the community… and kind of concluded that we all could use the action reflection cycle a bit more. But not just as built in to the program. It’s too easy then to outsource the initiative to the program (Cheers 13 Monday, and 24 on Sundays.) But as core practices.
So we thought CORE PRACTICES are what we are ultimately looking for. The core bones, not embedded in the program, but the core bones embodied in our practices, in everyday life, beyond the programs, and oriented towards BG.
So we took the 6 bones of Acts 2 (God-stuff; prayer & praise; learning; friends; serving; explaining) and fitted them into the word C.H.E.E.R.S. These are the 6 core practices we want to see people grow in, to build up all of our spiritual lives, and that of those around us.
1. The first 3 are Reflective practices –
1. “Cheer God” (look for the signs and image of God, and Cheer for it.) Thank God for it, and actually encourage more of it if we can.
2. “Hear God” (Pray for the bad stuff, and listen to God about it too.)
3. “Educate Ourselves” (they devoted themselves to the apostles teachings.) Use whatever methods, but learn – for yourself, in the way you need to, which may include others too.
2. The second 3 are Action practices –
1. “Eat with Others” (the fellowship). We say eat with people outside your household. At least one of whom is good for you, and also at least one who you’re good for.
2. “Reframe with Others” (explain & think about life differently). This can most often be really mutually beneficial.
3. “Serve with Others” – not patronizing, but with, mutual, empowering. And is God saying this is for you to do, or someone else?
We figure you can do these core practices any way you want to, as long as you do them yourself, and keep them oriented on the community of Banksia Grove. They are not supposed to be onerous or difficult, or inward focused, but to keep us more focused and alert to what God’s up to, and how we can join in.
Doing these core practices, in BG, are essentially how we learn to follow Jesus in BG. By this kind of action/reflection process.
And when we meet together, (which can be part of our reflective practices – C.H.E.) its to encourage this outside-kind of practical following Jesus, with all our heart, mind, soul, and with our strength.
So we are currently trying to come up with a plethora of optional ways of doing the CHEERS core practices, so we can find ways to do them, that suit us personally, and also together. Once we have a few, we’ll let you know.