Challenges for an Unstoppable Community

Challenge #1 - Create a Rule of Life

Don’t think of a Rule of Life like a New Year’s resolution. With resolutions, we either keep them or drop them. We win or lose. A Rule of Life is a set of habits that we constantly aim for and evaluate based upon our current season of life. What habits and rhythms do you need to uphold? Take the time today, and for the rest of this sermon series to either start crafting your Rule of Life or evaluate your current one. It’s not a question of if we have habits or not. It’s if these habits show our devotion to God, spiritual health, and others in our community.

➡️ Click here to Read more about creating a Rule of Life.


Challenge #2 - Remember God's Power

It is important to have a right heart before God. Sometimes, when we go through trials, we forget that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. We may start to forget how God has moved in our lives. We may start relying on our own strength and power. We want control. We want the power of God without a relationship with God. One antidote to this is to remember how God has moved in your past.

➡️ Click here to read more about Remembering God's Power.


Challenge #3 - Develop a Habit of Silence

Feeling confused? Lost? Purposeless? Do you want to hear God’s voice? Do you want clarity? Develop a habit of daily silence. While spending time in silence is not a guaranteed quick fix for every problem we face, having the ability to spend time listening to God’s voice is crucial in becoming a healthy and mature Christian. We challenge you to spend at least 10 minutes per day in silence. The better you are at spending time in silence and solitude, the better you will be at listening to God’s voice.

➡️ Click here to read more about Developing a Habit of Silence.


Challenge #4 - Daily Reflection

Feeling stuck? Having trouble growing in your faith? Humans have the tendency to land in two spots. We either feel overcome by our weaknesses, or we turn a blind eye to them. Either way, there is hope. With God’s help, we can change. Adding to a daily routine of silence, it is helpful to develop a habit of self-reflection.

➡️ Click here to for resources and videos about Daily Relfection.


Challenge #5 - Imaginitive Prayer

Ever feel like you are not smart enough to be a Christian or read the Bible? Does it seem that you need a college degree to figure out what God is saying? This is not true. While some parts or the Bible are confusing, the overall message is clear. You can read the Bible by yourself. God can speak to you when you read his Word. One way of accomplishing this is called “Imaginative Prayer.” This is reading a narrative of scripture and placing yourself in the story.

➡️ Click here for step-by-step directions and more resources.


Challenge #6 - Remove Distractions

Do have trouble focusing? When you try to pray, does it feel like you have 1,000 distractions? When you start to pray, does your mind start to wander? We challenge you to be intentional about managing those distractions. While there are different things in our lives that call for our attention, cell phones are one of the biggest sources of distraction.

➡️ Click here for resourses for understaing how to "silence" your cell phone.


Challenge #7 - Offer Hospitality

Feeling put on the shelf? Do you want to be used by God? Offer hospitality.

When hospitality is used in the Bible, the original word means “loving a stranger.” We can love and welcome strangers in so many different ways. This can include opening up our house or apartment. Perhaps this means having others over for dinner or lunch. It can mean hosting or leading a small group. We also can be hospitable with our time. Instead of being in a rush, we can slow down and welcome others. We welcome them by saying hello, asking them how they are doing, and really listening.

➡️ Click here for more info on hospitality and the impact it can make.


Challenge #8 - Give and Receive Affirmation

Feel like a failure? Ever feel like you have made too many mistakes? You are not alone. This is why we are supposed to give and receive affirmation.

God has placed others in our church family to encourage us when we are down. In the Bible and throughout history, there are so many examples of people confronting their faults and wanting to give up. Part of living in community is helping restore others. This is part of God’s plan. We were not created to live alone.

➡️ Click here for several posts on the power of affirmation.


Challenge #9 - Anticipate Struggle

Feeling afraid? There are so many things in this world that cause us anxiety. When we think about living out our faith in a noticeable way, it is particularly easy to feel nervous. This is a natural human reaction, but we are called to anticipate struggle. When we are trying to make a positive impact in this world, we will struggle against many different things.

➡️ Click here for ideas on how to pray for yourself and others.


Challenge #10 - Focus by Fasting

Feeling restless? We challenge you to fast. Biblical fasting is more than simply not eating food or depriving yourself of some other indulgence. Biblical fasting  is withholding certain activities in your life and replacing them with prayer. We should not think of fasting as a method of forcing God to change his mind. Instead, we should desire to honestly and intentionally pursue God’s heart for a specific purpose.

➡️ Here are several more resources with very helpful and practical advice on fasting and prayer.


Challenge #11 - Confess Your Sins

Feeling defeated? Confess your sins. 

In our walk with God, it is common to feel like giving up. It seems like we have made too many mistakes. We keep struggling with the same issues. Our character flaws keep surfacing. Instead of being honest about our faults, fear and pride sneak in. We are afraid of not being fully accepted, so we hide our mistakes. We rely only on our own willpower, and we pretend that we can handle everything on our own. Instead of opening up to others, we hide our sins. This isolation gives sin power over us.

➡️ Read here for how to break the power of sin and shame using confession.