Making New Year’s resolutions can be beneficial, but developing habits is what will help transformation in our lives stick. Spiritual habits reflect our identity in Jesus, and God transforms our hearts and lives not simply by how we worship on Sundays but by how we practice our faith the other six days of the week.
Charles Duhigg, an author and journalist, published the book The Power of Habit in 2012. While it is mainly a business and personal growth resource, Duhigg devoted a chapter to Rick Warren’s pastoring of Saddleback Church in California in order to highlight the spiritual significance of habits in our lives.
When Warren planted Saddleback Church in 1979 he wanted to help people live out the habits of following Jesus. He placed every person in a small group where they learned how to engage the habits of Christianity through curriculum, discussion, and prayer. In Duhigg’s words, this church became a movement of people.
Duhigg observed, “Warren needed to teach people habits that caused them to live faithfully not because of their ties, but because it’s who they are.”
At Browncroft we focus on four spiritual habits: spend time with God, spend time with others, know and use your gifts, and share your faith. As I reflect on my New Year’s Day conversation last Sunday with Pastor Howard and the habit of reading the Bible cumulative effect on our lives (you can watch it below), I want to point you back to these habits.
I want to challenge you to consider a next step in your faith journey through one of the coming opportunities below.
Spend time With God – Core 52
Each year, the American Bible Society publishes a report called The State of the Bible. One key finding is that people who engage the Bible regularly are more hopeful and handle stress better. This underscores what we discussed this past Sunday in Colossians 3:16: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…”
Two major challenges people face in engaging the Bible are where to start and how to continue successfully. This year we are offering Core 52 to address those challenges for families, students, and adults. Five days a week those participating will engage key questions about Christianity while incorporating practices to help Scripture reading become a daily habit in their lives.
Our hope is that Core 52 will help you understand the bigger picture of the Bible while also building the spiritual habit of “Spend Time With God” in your life. Not only do we want to challenge you to do Core 52 individually but also to consider forming a group of two to three people engaging this content together.
Spend Time With Others – ROOTED
Small groups are Browncroft’s central discipleship environment. Just like Saddleback Church we believe life-change in Jesus is enhanced while in community with others, so we are intentional about helping people find groups. One great way to do that is through our Rooted experience. For ten weeks Rooted participants learn about seven rhythms that pair with our spiritual habits while experiencing a small group of ten to twelve people. This builds a connection and forms a habit of meeting together. Approximately 450 people have participated in Rooted already at Browncroft, and our next cohort launches in February. Find out more by clicking the button below.
Know & Use Your Gifts – Small Group Leadership Training
Often in our lives we come to a space where God calls us to take what feels like a huge spiritual risk. But developing our own spiritual habits can overflow in discipling others. And for some of you your next spiritual step is to lead a small group. We have a small group leadership training on January 22 that could be a first step for you in discerning if God might ask you to serve in such a role. If that is on your heart, I would challenge you participate in this training by reserving your spot using the button below.
One final thought, we have a robust Browncroft Resources page on our website at browncroft.org/resources. In addition to more details about Core 52, you can find other tools that can help you engage the Bible and deepen your faith.
I encourage you to pick one of these habits to take a next step. Let’s go deeper in our pursuit of life-change in Jesus this year.