routines + community + customs = culture

I was doing so well when I started my blog but going on trips and getting caught up in various other activities removed me from the few routines I had established.  Well, I am back and I have added a few new routines to my life.

You would think that as a pastor I would be very good about my personal devotional life.  While it is almost impossible for me not to ponder Scripture and the deep issues of life on a daily basis, I have found it difficult to set a regular time that is devoted to being in the Word and prayer.  Well, that has changed as of late.

A little over 3 weeks ago I began going every weekday morning to a local McDonald’s at 6:30 a.m. for morning oatmeal and a 30min. morning devotion.  I have a little daily devotion book that I like to use called Living the Gospel Life. I’ve invited various people to come and join me whenever it fits into there schedules.  Eight different people have joined me at least once and three people join me at least once weekly so far.  Some days I am the only one who goes.

At first it bothered me a little when I was the only one to show up, as it was my original intent that this would be a way to help form community between some of the folks I know.  However, I very quickly realized that whether or not others were joining me I had begun a new routine for myself.  I now have a time and a place that is set apart at least five days a week for being in the Word, in prayer and for considering how my trust in Christ can influence my daily life.

In the mean time I am going to keep inviting folks to join me.  As others accept my invitation into this and other routines a community will form.  As this community forms we will establish customs.  As customs develop we will find that we have created a new culture.

This is what happened in the early Church as described in Acts 2:42 and following.  People got together daily and learned from those who lived with Jesus.  But they didn’t just “go to church” together.  They lived life together.  They had meals with each other regularly.  But it wasn’t just a social club either.  They made a habit of helping each other and those in need in the ways they were able to.  But it wasn’t just some philanthropic organization.  They didn’t just choose a cause and try to address it.  They sought God’s direction in all things.  They prayed together.  They prayed for each other and for others.  They were a blessing to one another and to those around them.  And as they formed this new culture many others were drawn to them and through them to faith in Christ.

Despite what the title of this article may imply, there is not a prescribed formula for sharing faith.  The title is really just an short way for me to remind myself and others that we are creatures of habit.  The habits we form good or bad will result in the culture of our lives and of those we influence.  If you invite people into your routines, what you put at the center of your routines will end up in the center of your shared culture.  I pray that Christ’s identity and teachings would be at the center of your routines, and that you would invite others to join you as you develop a new culture.

Living Forever, Now,

Pastor Michael James Grannis