At Covenant Life we believe in being a growing, Jesus Centered Community.
“We believe God is on a mission to make all things new and he has asked us to join in – to be his apprentices who are learning the way of Jesus.”
APPRENTICESHIP TO JESUS
When Jesus gathered that group of unremarkables and commanded them to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) he used the Greek word mathetes, which meant student – or, perhaps more accurately, apprentices. Go and make apprentices.
Apprentices of rabbis in Jesus’ time had three priorities: being with the rabbi (Mark 3:13), becoming like the rabbi and seeing the world the way they did (Luke 11:1), and doing what the rabbi did (Matthew 10:1-15). This required everything of the apprentices, and it was considered a privilege to be called into this way of life.
This is how we understand discipleship today, too. We want to be apprentices of Jesus who – over time and from one degree to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18) – learn ways of living each day in this city that enable us to be with him, become like him and do the things he did. We want to be students learning the patterns of heaven and how to paint them ourselves.
As we do this together, we believe we’ll see not just see our own lives changed, but our place & culture changed too.
Our western, American Culture is a ‘rabbi’ demanding its inhabitants become like it and adopt its lifestyle. For better and for worse but never for neutral.
Our time, our energy and our resources get drawn into daily rituals, embodied practices. And these habits are powerful. As Tish Warren puts it: “the crucible of our formation is in the anonymous monotony of our daily routines”. They re-wire us from the core to see the world in a certain way, and to desire certain things. It means the habits of our lives shape the desires of our lives which in turn shape the direction of our lives. And we’re convinced that the message of Jesus and the testimony of history is that misdirected loves lead to misdirected lives.
All this means that if we wake up tomorrow and just live out a normal day, we will be shaped; we will be ‘discipled’. The question is simply, ‘into whose likeness and towards what kingdom?’ Are we being apprentices of the city or apprentices of Jesus?
If these patterns of living are shaping how we love, then the goal of discipleship is – as James KA Smith puts it – “to curate our hearts to be attentive to and intentional about what we love”. And that is the purpose of these groups: to contend for patterns of living in this city that re-direct our loves towards Jesus and his kingdom; to form patterns of living that renew the world. We want to be apprentices of Jesus – learning his unforced rhythms of grace – so that we can live right in the thick of our culture in order to shape it and renew it. A creative minority on a mission to serve God’s purpose to make all things new.
Following the apprenticeship model of discipleship, you are invited to collectively practice in the month ahead one pattern that helps you all be with Jesus, one that helps you become like him, and one that helps you do the things he did.
Follow the link below to the Spiritual practices: