On April 11, BODY | Oak Cliff will host its 3rd Faithwalking 101 weekend retreat. The Faithwalking experience challenges Christians to wrestle with this basic question of our faith: What does it mean to join God on His mission to reconcile the world to Himself and to restore individuals and communities to His intended design?
Many of us are aware of this calling, this invitation to the abundant life, but something keeps us from living into it. The 101 retreat is an opportunity to begin exploring what that something is. This is not a pep rally calling you to ‘try harder’ – most of us are already trying as hard as we possibly can. Instead, it’s the chance to view our spiritual lives from a completely different perspective and to consider the possibility that we will never be free to live in missional obedience until we give God’s Spirit access to the hidden and broken places in our hearts.
The retreat introduces participants to a mental model of discipleship composed of three core components: 1) radical obedience that leads to a missional life, 2) a reflective life of increasing intimacy with God that leads to greater stewardship in the places we live and work, and 3) authentic community mobilized around a shared vision. Each component is experienced throughout the weekend as the retreat follows a rhythm of presentation (the call to obedience), guided solitude (the reflective life), and a time of sharing in a small group (authentic community).
Let me be clear about one thing – this is not an invitation to a “retreat experience.” Most of us have had our fill of spiritual experience for the sake of spiritual experience, the kind that terminates on ourselves and leads nowhere. What we’re offering is the chance to begin a journey of faith that will lead you places you’ve never been able to go before. It will require a good deal of hard work and there will be many challenges along the way, but the path is a place free from shame and legalism – it is the path of the abundant life of Christ.
If this invitation stirs something up in you, please consider joining us the weekend of April 11 to consider these questions further. We have limited capacity, but hope to accommodate as many as possible on this retreat. To register your interest, fill out this simple form and someone will be in touch with more information (see http://bit.ly/FW101interest).
For more information:
The first step in connecting with your neighbors is moving from stranger to acquaintance through the creation of a block map. This tool serves a few different purposes. Block maps:
- help you learn the names of your closest neighbors
- identify gaps in your knowledge about your neighbors and their story
- provide a reminder to pray for and serve your neighbors
- become a launchpad for organizing gatherings
For such a simple tool, these are enormous benefits. If you’re anything like me, prone to forget names and living in a transient community of apartment-dwellers, just recalling people’s names when I see them next is a huge step forward. Having a block map to record your neighbors’ names and additional information will go a long way toward helping you reflect Christ’s love by interacting on a more significant level.
How do I start?
We’ve provided a block map on our resources page that you can print off and fill out. Start with whatever information you know, and don’t forget to put your own home on the map! Although the page is laid out to resemble a street block, feel free to personalize it based on your surroundings. You can do this by including the addresses or apartment numbers of your neighbors. Hang it where you’ll see it frequently — such as on your refrigerator, by a bathroom mirror, or near a wall calendar if you have one. The key is to have it in a prominent spot as a practical reminder that this is a priority for you.
What should you put on your block map? In addition to names, consider including:
- ages of children
- contact information (offer to exchange your information)
- hobbies, interests, parts of personal story (i.e. “Recently moved from Ohio” or “Rangers fan”)
The sky’s the limit! Whatever will help you remember and serve your neighbors better is what you should include.
Still see several blank boxes staring at you? Don’t be discouraged; this is where neighboring begins. If you need a little inspiration for ways to connect with those you don’t know yet, check out this post. It’s often hard or awkward to approach a neighbor of several months or years whom you still don’t know, but being frank and apologetic about your lack of communication with them can go a long way toward establishing a foundation for friendship.
Remember, this step is just about making that initial contact and learning some basic information about your neighbors. Next time, we’ll talk about how to use your block map to deepen these newly-formed relationships.