Twenty-five years ago, Dorothy C. Bass, a prolific author and practical theologian, published ‘Practicing Our Faith,’ an insightful and helpful framework for thinking about Christian faith and life. With major contributions from Craig Dykstra, ‘Practicing Our Faith’ makes a compelling case for what remains a fundamental question of our time: “How do we live a Christian life?”
With support from Lilly Endowment Inc., Leadership Education at Duke Divinity is pleased to offer PracticingOurFaith.org. As leaders and congregations wrestle with how to answer God’s call in a politically polarized and increasingly secular world, this new web project offers a fresh look at how the idea of faith practices “points beyond the individualism of the dominant culture” and helps reveal “the social quality of Christian life, theology, and spirituality.”
At least in the West, we Christians have often emphasized a narrow set of religious activities as benchmarks for authentic discipleship and limited these activities to certain times, places or situations. Bass and Dykstra remove the dividing wall between life and faith to show us anew that life is faith and faith is life. They plumb Scripture, theology and church history to offer 12 practices that address our deepest needs and frame a Christian way of life. These practices form us over time to live more abundantly and faithfully in the world.
PracticingOurFaith.org features a library of engaging resources on Christian practices for our time. Use these resources to inform your preaching and leadership. Encourage your congregation to study these texts in small groups or Sunday School classes. See if they spark a conversation about the practices you think need attention today.
Before you go…
I have vivid memories of certain practices from my childhood church. Every Christmas Eve, we gathered for worship. At the end of the service, we stood in the circle around the sanctuary. The pastor lit a candle. Then he passed the light to the person standing next to him, who did the same, until all the candles were lit. We sang “Silent Night,” and then we went home.
Over time, the simple acts of standing in a circle, sharing a light with others and singing together gave me the assurance that through Christ, I was a part of something much bigger than myself — which is a core value of my Christian faith today. What practices pique your curiosity? What difference might it make in your congregation and community if you discipled people using the practices of our faith?
Feel free to reach out to me and the Alban Weekly team at email@example.com. Until next week, keep leading!
Editor, Alban at Duke Divinity