Challenge #1 - Create a Rule of Life
The phrase “Rule of Life” can sound intimidating or strange, but this idea has a strong Christian legacy and history dating back to the earliest Christians. The term rule actually has the same root word as trellis. It is easy to imagine the early Christians as they were planting gardens and seeing fruit grow. They wanted something similar for themselves. Similar to how a vine grows along a trellis, we need structure and habits to hold onto. This trellis ensures we connect with God and others on a consistent basis. Without structure, we become disconnected and distracted. This was true for the first Christians, and this is especially true for us living in the 21st century.
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.
Here are some useful links to online videos, blog posts, and books. They range from quick introductory material for those who are new to the idea of a Rule of Life to in-depth resources for those who already have a Rule of Life.
Video: How Can a “Rule of Life” Transform Your Leadership? | Pete Scazzero
Here is a quick 6 minute video talking about the history and value of a Rule of Life. Peter Scazzero and his Wife Geri have released a host of resouces about emotionally healthy spirituality and discileship. Their resources have been used my thousands of Christians, including the Chapel Staff.
Blog Post: Skip Resolutions—Make a Rule of Life | Jeremy Linneman and The Gospel Coalition
This blog post from The Gospel Coalition is a great first step in creating a Rule of Life. It has a six-step process and five elements for a basic Rule of Life. This quick read can help lead to a life of connecting with Jesus.
The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction | Justin Whitmel Early
In this practical and modern book, Justin Whitmel Early focuses solely on developing a Rule of Life. He also developed an interactive website alongside his book, which serves as a fantastic example and tool for working on your own Rule of Life: thecommonrule.org.
Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation | Ruth Haley Barton
In her book, Ruth Haley Barton provides a deep dive into spiritual transformation. In one of her last chapters (ch. 9), she focuses on incorporating the principles of spiritual transformation into developing a Rule of Life. She has many helpful tips for creating a realistic Rule of Life and evaluating it as we progress through seasons in life.