Author shares inspiration behind Holy Habits

Holy Habits book cover 2The idea for Holy Habits first came about when I sat down to tackle an MA essay question: ‘To what extent do we see the picture that Luke paints in Acts 2:42-47 re-emerging in fresh expressions of church today?’ That really made me think! The phrase ‘holy habits’ describes the practices we see in Acts 2 and I began to intentionally link the passage to the nurturing of discipleship – focusing on discipleship supported by Church but not limited to it. Discipleship is lived in the whole of life, not just in the times that we gather as Church.

It was then that the Birmingham Methodist Circuit asked me to think about how they could more fully support the nurture of discipleship through their churches and I suggested something based on what became Holy Habits. I started writing the book during a three-month sabbatical, while they began work on accompanying resources.

The first part of the book examines the adventure of discipleship while the second half reflects on how disciples are formed through supportive relationships and by the ten habits Luke depicts in Acts 2:

• Biblical teaching

• Fellowship

• Breaking bread

• Prayer

• Giving

• Service

• Eating together

• Gladness and generosity

• Worship

• Making more disciples.

As time passed, I very much sensed a connection between Holy Habits – which looks to help people in their daily walk with Jesus through these ten habits – and the Walking the Way: Living the life of Jesus today vision that’s emerging in the United Reformed Church. On discussing what was happening with the URC, we recognised a timeliness in the possibility of this coming alongside, or being supportive of, Walking the Way. This was great news because, in Birmingham, there are five or six Methodist/URC LEPs and the URC was directly involved in developing Holy Habits and its resources as independent but complementary projects. When it was decided to develop those resources beyond Birmingham, the URC also partnered in that process – alongside Methodist colleagues, so the URC has been in the thick of it right from the start ...

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