Spiritual Friendship

A central feature of our culture is that we are relentlessly talked at––rarely listened to. Consequently, we have an aching hunger to be heard and noticed. Among the men and women with whom we meet, do we recognize their thirst to be heard and known and loved personally? Almost two decades after first planting the church […]

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God has ordained things that we grow in faith only through the frail instrumentality of one another.   St. John of the Cross Our growth in Christ does not occur in isolation; it takes place within the company of others who provide presence and perspective along the journey. One specific form of being “in the […]

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“Is it possible for people to miss their lives in the same way one misses a plane?” Walker Percy asks in his novel The Second Coming. With his character Will Barrett—a lonely widower, recently retired from a very successful business career—Percy confronts us with a person who has confused all the activity of his life […]

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This week I want to highlight a third practice that gives shape to walking well with others as a friend or a mentor. My reflections here are again adapted from our VP3 resource entitled Walking Alongside Others: A Mentoring Guide.  Practice #3 – Prayer Prayer in this mentoring context is about cultivating a deep trust in the […]

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This week I want to highlight the second of three primary practices that give shape to walking well with others as a friend or a mentor. Last week I addressed the practice of listening, this week question-asking, and next week prayerfulness. My reflections here are again adapted from our VP3 resource entitled Walking Alongside Others: A […]

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There are three primary practices that give shape to walking well with others as a friend or a mentor: listening, question-asking, and prayer. Over the next couple blog entries, I will briefly unpack each of these practices. My reflections here are adapted from our VP3 resource entitled, Walking Alongside Others: A Mentoring Guide. I highly recommend […]

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Friendship does not grow naturally out of the fast-paced, competitive, and isolated lives so many of us live. In reality, our work priorities and our household busy-ness most often stand against the cultivation of deep friendship. Yet it is friendship that most often describes an essential condition for Christian maturity. As we make space for a common sharing, […]

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Intentionally walking with others, helping them grow deeper in their faith, becomes transformative when we make space to notice others particularly. For it is in the conditions of lives shared, honored, noticed, and enjoyed—that is, friendship—that something of the Spirit’s nurturing grace is imparted to us and through us to others. This noticing involves expecting […]

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I have a friend who recently completed The Journey. She grew up in church and has a strong legacy of faith. Yet in the midst of The Journey, something happened – she began to see things from a new vantage point . . . Reclaimed! Just this week I grabbed a swanky paintbrush along with […]

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So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.   1 Thessalonians 2:8 Regent College’s James Houston once commented that within the evangelical Christian world we have spiritual maps and […]

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The Journey takes time. That issue makes some of us hesitate because we are always looking for quick fixes. But what are the results of “quick fixes?” Seldom are they long lasting. The Journey sets the bar pretty high. That’s what sets it apart, I believe.   We need time for growth. True discipleship doesn’t take […]

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One definition of the word “catalyst” is “a stimulus to change.”   What happens when someone becomes a catalyst for any type of change? Maybe you’re the catalyst in your home for a change to healthier eating. Or maybe you’re the catalyst in your church for a move toward more intentional discipleship.   I recently […]

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