In earlier days, family trips to new destinations would include the Rand-McNally map. Today, Google Maps, or your preferred technology, will get you there “hands free”. Either way, in both cases, starting on a journey to a new destination requires help and guidance.
In considering Biblical Images and Christian Spirituality, Alister E. McGrath in Christian Spirituality says,
“One of the most powerful images of the Christian life is that of a journey”.
So, as a journey, what help and guidance are we giving those who come to faith in Christ?
While pursuing my Master’s at Asbury Seminary, I came across the following quote and it has guided my reflection in regards to Spiritual Formation and Discipleship ever since.
“One of the most critical tasks of the local church is to enable people to become journeyers rather than wanderers. This suggests that the leadership of the congregation needs to be serious about their own journeys, to the point where they are willing to share their experience with others, not as those who have arrived but as fellow journeyers able to receive as well as to give…” – James C. Fenhagen
How are we in leadership helping those in our congregations become journeyers rather than wanderers? The image of journeyer versus wanderer is powerful.
I can remember times in my childhood when my dad thought he knew better than Rand-McNally and because of that, we ended up wandering a bit!
Essentials of My Own Journey
Teach journeyers/disciples how to read, study, meditate, and apply Scripture. To know, understand, and apply God’s revealed will.
Teach journeyers/disciples how to commune with God – to connect through prayer in all its’ expressions, developing an intimate relationship with God.
Teach journeyers/disciples how to worship, privately and corporately. Teach them that worship is more than singing – it’s more than Sunday morning – it’s Life!
Teach journeyers/disciples that our need for community and fellowship arises out of being made in the image of God – imago Dei. God exists in perfect community as Father – Son – Holy Spirit. We ARE the body of Christ, living the “One-Another Life” in true Koinonia!
Teach journeyers/disciples that all are called, empowered, commissioned, and entrusted to ministry/mission. That all are to identify their passions, gifts, and strengths and through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, leverage them inside and outside the Church to God’s ultimate glory.
The questions that Fenhagen ultimately raises, and ones that I will leave for you to answer is, as leaders, are we journeyers as well? Are these essentials a part of our own spiritual life? Are we sharing them with our congregants as fellow journeyers?