Each week of our Boundless sermon series emails we are suggesting spiritual practices to try on as well as walking you through how to craft a Rule of Life.

See all of the content here as we release it.

Spiritual Practices

Week 1: Daily Review with God


A Daily Review with God allows for growth in our relationship with God, self, and others and facilitates healthy, honest, and authentic conversations with God. This Daily Review with God has five simple sections. They include the same elements of what we want to say to a person we truly love: thank you … help me … I love you … I’m sorry … be with me.

INSTRUCTIONS: Use each of these simple statements as a guide to review your day with God each night before going to sleep.

Thank you.
Everything is gift. I give you thanks and praise for the gifts of this day. [List the things for which you are grateful.]

Help me. 
Please give me an increased awareness of how you are guiding me and shaping my life and a more sensitive awareness of any obstacles I put in your way. [Recall specific situations from the day where you need God’s help, direction, wisdom, or provision.]

I love you. 
Be near me now as I reflect on the events, feelings, and circumstances I have experienced today. [Recall where you felt close to God and where you felt distant or disconnected.]

I’m sorry. 
I ask for your loving forgiveness and healing. The event of this day that I most want healed is… [the event for which you want healing or forgiveness].

Be with me. 
Filled with a firm belief in your love and power, I entrust myself to your care, and ask for… [the gift you most desire, most need; trust that God desires to give you that gift].

You may choose to close this prayer time with the Lord’s Prayer.

We’ve created this Daily Review with God as a printable PDF so that you can easily reference it. Click here to download it.

Week 2: Kneeling Prayer


The practice of kneeling prayer is deceptively simple. Three times a day (first thing in the morning, at midday, and before bed), simply kneel for a brief time of prayer.

Start with just 20-30 seconds. You may increase to a few minutes, but this form of prayer is intentionally meant to be brief.

If you aren’t sure what to pray, no problem. Below we’ve provided you with some simple prayers as a starting point.

What kneeling prayer does is to actively reframe our day around to reality of God’s love for us, his provision and control, and our identity as his beloved children.

The goal isn’t on checking off prayers every day or suggesting that these brief kneeling prayers will make up our entire prayer lives. Rather, the idea is that we punctuate our busy and chaotic schedules with periodic moments of:

  • Slowness (stopping to pray and reconnect with God)
  • Submission (using our body to kneel is an act of submission)
  • Dependence (asking God to take control of what we can’t)

How to try on this spiritual practice:

  1. Write out some short prayers or use the ones we’ve provided below.
  2. Set a reminder for your midday prayer to help you develop the rhythm of pausing during your day to pray.
  3. Try it on for the week.

While it may seem awkward at first, that’s okay. All new habits are like that. What is amazing is that after you start doing it for a few days or weeks, you have become a person who regularly prays. And these little prayers start to form a trellis on which the love for God and others can begin to grow.

Written prayers.
You may want to begin by having a written morning, midday, and evening prayer. Consider writing a brief prayer to use at each time of the day.

Here are three you might use from Justin Whitmel Earley’s The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction:

  • Morning — “Spirit, I was made for your presence. May this day be one I spend with you in all that I do. Amen.”
  • Midday — “Jesus, I was made to join your work in the world. Please order the rest of my day in love for the people you have given me to serve. Amen.”
  • Night — “Father, I was made to rest in your love. May my body rest in sleep and may my mind rest in your love. Amen.”

Pray with your body.
Kneeling to pray helps us engage our body in our prayers by putting us in a posture of humility. However, if kneeling is a physical challenge for you or you are in a public space, consider other physical postures that may aid your prayers such as turning your palms up and resting them on your knees.

Embrace repetition.
Just because our prayers are repetitive doesn’t mean they are meaningless. Actually, quite the opposite. Our simple, brief prayers have the power to form us over time because of their constant company. While you should feel the freedom to use spontaneous prayers as well, “building the trellis of repetitive prayer,” says Justin Whitmel Earley, “is a way to encourage more prayers to grow.”

We’ve created a printable PDF of the Morning, Midday, and Night prayers. Click here to download it.

Week 3: One Meal With Others


This week’s spiritual practice is to eat one meal daily with other people. While eating together may strike you as an odd spiritual practice, remember that eating is fundamental to who we are. The need to eat reveals our dependence upon God, each other, and creation. Central to our redemption in Christ is the promise that God and people will eat together again. One of the main images of our reunion with God is a shared feast.

It’s not surprising, then, that throughout the centuries, Christians have viewed the table as a centerpiece of our spiritual formation. Whether it is in the form of taking the Lord’s Supper or sharing a regular meal together, the table is foundational to Christian fellowship and formation.

In addition to our own spiritual growth, sharing a meal together may be one of the best ways to share Christ’s love with our neighbors. “In our secular culture,” observes Justin Whitmel Earley, “eating may be our best chance for evangelism.” By breaking bread together, we have the opportunity to share our lives and build trust in a hospitable environment.

Increasingly, however, Americans eat alone on a regular basis. While food is intended to connect us to God, neighbor, and creation, our cultural habits around eating tend to keep us separated and intensify our isolation.

The practice of daily eating one meal with others provides us with a habit to reorient our schedules and our space around food and each other. “The more the table becomes our center of gravity,” claims Justin Whitmel Earley, “the more it draws our neighbors into gospel community.”

Three ways to start:

  1. Family meals.
    Find a regular rhythm of sharing a family meal together and try to make it the anchor of your daily schedule.
  2. Regularly scheduled coworker lunch.
    Establish a regular lunchtime hour with coworkers as a way to build relationships. Get a group together, pick a recurring time to eat lunch together, and invite others to join you. While not everyone has to join every meal, let people around your office know that they have an open invitation to eat together at this regularly scheduled time.
  3. Eating communally while alone.
    If you wish you had family or friends to eat with, but find yourself alone, this spiritual practice may be more challenging both logistically and emotionally. Consider eating at the same restaurant or coffee shop on a weekly basis. Become a regular and get to know the servers or other regular diners. Focus on being a blessing to them by getting to know them personally. Or eat regularly at a local park or other community space. Leave behind the laptop, reading material, or headphones so that you can eat in a way that invites conversation.

Creating space.
Your mealtime space matters. Clear the clutter from your table so that you can enjoy meals and conversations together without distractions. Consider lighting a candle, adding seasonal décor, or other ways to make the mealtime space inviting.

The table as spiritual formation. 
The mealtime table provides a special place to be intentionally relational. Build common rituals such as saying a prayer that everyone knows, sharing a single conversation instead of lots of side conversations (particularly when with a larger group of adults), or responding to regular questions to ask and answer. At breakfast ask, “What are you hoping for today?” and “What are you not looking forward to today?” At dinner ask, “What was one good thing, one bad thing, and one funny thing that happened today?”

Turing meals inside out.
Instead of eating in your backyard in nice weather, take your meal out front and invite neighbors to eat with you. Host a potluck for your neighborhood and invite both neighbors you know and some you don’t. Or create a regular weekly meal that is easy to prepare, such as pizza, and invite someone new each week.

Week 4: One Hour Phone Off


We live in an age of endless distraction where inattention has become the norm. Most of us live in the constant presence of our smartphones that are continually vying for our attention.

According to a recent study, 81% of people admit to interrupting conversation, mealtime, or playtime with family or friends to check their social media, text messages, or email. It is hard to be present with others when our attention is divided by the persistent urge to check our phones.

Yet presence is at the heart of God and his created order. In many ways the Bible is a story of presence. In creation, we are made to be in the presence of God. At the Fall, the first thing that Adam and Eve do is shield their presence from each other and hide from God.

After the Fall, God pursues his people, manifesting his presence among them in various ways — a pillar of fire, a tabernacle, the temple, and finally in the person of Jesus and in the gift of his Spirit. We read in Revelation that when God’s new creation is finally realized, we will once again be fully present to God and to each other.

“Our spiritual DNA longs for presence,” observes Justin Whitmel Earley. Yet how often are our phones the reason we are around each other but not really present with each other?

The aim of this week’s spiritual practice, then, is to provide a counterweight to our phone habit by forming a new habit that will lead us into a new way of life.

This week make it your spiritual practice to turn off your phone for one hour each day. Don’t just set it on silent mode—power it completely off. Studies show that having your phone on silent or in the room is far different from having it off or out of sight.

What we are trying to do with this daily habit is to reclaim our rhythm of presence. Creating a pattern of presence in your daily life is a big deal because presence is the medium of love. We cannot love God or our neighbors if we are not present with them.

Three ways to start:

  1. Hour at home. Find a regularly scheduled time each day where you turn your phone off and are fully present at home. If you have a family, you may need to experiment to find a time that works best.
  2. Hour at work. Choose a recurring hour each day at work to intentionally turn your phone off so that you can fully devote your attention to work that needs to be done. Pick a time when you know it’s okay to be unavailable.
  3. Hour of Silence. Consider turning your phone off for the first or last hour of your day in order to cultivate meaningful space for silence and solitude. Andy Crouch, in The Tech-Wise Family, suggests putting your phone to bed before you go to bed and waking up before your phone wakes up.

The art of communication.
Going for an hour with your phone turned off may seem difficult or even impossible, particularly if you have a demanding job. However, you may discover that it is actually a relief to not be in such demand. The key is to communicate with your boss, co-workers, family, and friends what you are doing and why you will be unavailable at a specific time during the day.

Mastering your devices. 
On a practical level, there is quite a bit we can do beyond turning off our phones to help shape how we are using our phones. Turn off all notifications, and then over a week, turn back on the ones that your truly miss or need. Use voice controls whenever you can as a way of avoiding opening your phone and getting distracted by other things like email, news, internet, or social media.

A place for phone.
Consider having a particular place to keep your phone. At work you may want to store it in a desk drawer or on a shelf across the room where it won’t be a distraction. At home, you may want to set up a charging station in an out-of-sight area. Justin Whitmel Earley suggests that “having a place for phones goes a long way toward putting them in their place.”

Week 5: Scripture Before Phone


Waking up is a powerful moment of formation. It is an opportunity to begin anew where perhaps yesterday we failed. Each morning is a fresh beginning and how we spend the first hour of the day often defines the rest of our day.

How are we greeting this new chance to follow Jesus daily? What are we allowing to inform these defining moments of our day?

As we wake to the world, many of us have formed a habit of reaching for our phones. “I’ll just quickly check my emails,” we think to ourselves. Or perhaps the news headlines or social media. While this may seem like a rather harmless habit, notice how it shifts how we think not only about our day, but also about our identity.

By checking email first thing, suddenly our day becomes defined by what is urgent and what we must do. Allowing our first thoughts of the day to be dictated by what we need to accomplish reinforces our culture’s distorted perception of our identity: “You are only as good as what you get done” and “You are your work.”

Setting aside our habit of checking our phone until after reading a passage of Scripture provides a powerful way to replace the question “What do I need to do today?” with a better one: “Who am I and who am I becoming?”

We all long to know who we are. God answers this question for us in Scripture: we are his beloved children created as his image. We are to reflect his glory in the world.

“The story of Scripture is clear that we do not know who we are apart from the God who made us,” observes Justin Whitmel Earley. “And we do not know who we are becoming apart from the God who is renewing us.”

Immersing ourselves daily in God’s Word helps us resist the anxiety of emails, the anger of news, and the envy of social media. It daily reminds us and forms in us our true identity as beloved children of God.

Three ways to start:

  1. Reading plans.There are countless daily devotionals and reading plans which can be a great way to kick-start your daily readings. If you don’t have a one, you could also consider beginning by spending a month in Psalms (one Psalm a day), Matthew or Proverbs (one chapter a day), or Romans (a half chapter each day).
  2. Daily prayer apps.While you may prefer to read out of your paper Bible, you could also consider downloading a Bible app such as YouVersion or the Daily Prayer app, to help guide you. One word of caution – if you are using an app on your phone, it’s easy to get distracted by the other apps and notifications, so don’t let your phone short-circuit your intention to spend time in God’s Word.
  3. Creating a new routine.Perhaps the best way to build this daily habit into your routine is to remove your phone from your morning routine entirely. Consider doing an experiment for a week where you don’t access your phone for the first hour of your day. Instead, fill that time with Scripture, journaling, meditating, or exercising.


We all have seasons where we’re working on a big project or something important needs our attention at work. If you are in a season that requires extra attention and focus, be kind to yourself and don’t heap guilt on yourself. Perhaps you shorten the time you spend with Scripture to a simple Psalm before responding to email or attending to urgent work. But set an intention to return to a more life-giving morning rhythm as soon as you are able.

Studying the Bible. 
Give yourself permission to separate your daily reading from more in-depth study of the Bible which may require more time than you have available each morning. Allow your daily Scripture reading to be a springboard into deeper Bible study. Your short daily readings shouldn’t undercut longer study but should build a foundation for it.

Journaling has the potential to be a keystone habit, that is, one that can change everything else in your life. Consider making it a habit to fill one blank page while your read or pray before picking up your phone in the morning. You may be surprised how it transforms your life in significant ways.

Week 6: One Hour Conversation with a Friend

So far in this series we have considered several daily spiritual practices:

  • Daily Review with God
  • Kneeling Prayer
  • One Meal with Others
  • One Hour Phone Off
  • Scripture Before Phone

We are now going to shift our attention to spiritual practices that shape our weekly rhythms.


One of the defining traits of the Christian faith is that God is three persons in one triune God. Among the primary implications of the Trinity is that God is a fellowship. That means that we are made in the image of fellowship.

Our longing to be in relationship with other people is, therefore, at the very heart of our existence. We were created out of God’s relationship with himself and we are created for relationship with others. We are made to know each other and to be known.

The weekly habit of an hour of conversation is meant to cultivate a life where you know and are known by those closest to you. As Justin Whitmel Earley observes, “Without the work of real conversation, where your deepest hopes are admitted and your greatest secrets are discovered, relationships remain the mere common interests of acquaintances.”

The practice of conversation is the vehicle that drives friendship beyond the level of acquaintance. For it is in conversation that we risk disclosing ourselves to others.

In real-time face-to-face conversation we have the opportunity to exercise vulnerability and to become exposed to each other on a deeper level. Through our vulnerability — revealing our true selves through our words — we become truly known.

Three ways to start:

  1. Standing meeting. Try setting up a standing time with a friend when you always get together. Perhaps it is over lunch, a walk in the morning, or meeting later in the evening. Don’t get discouraged when you sometimes have to miss getting together. Rather, be encouraged that the rule is getting together regularly, and the exception is missing occasionally.
  2. For couples. If you are good friends with another couple, consider interspersing the times when you all get together along with occasions when the men and the women have separate times themselves.
  3. From roommates to friendship. Living with a roommate doesn’t mean you will automatically become friends. Consider setting up a weekly time to share a meal so that you can intentionally pursue a deeper relationship.


Telling secrets.
There’s no bigger catalyst for deep relationships than telling your secrets. According to Justin Whitmel Earley, “Vulnerability and time turn people who have a relationship into people who have a friendship. That is what friendship is: vulnerability across time.” If vulnerability is a key ingredient to friendship, then telling our secrets to a person is one of the best ways to cultivate friendship.

The power of good questions. 
Good conversations come from asking good questions. Even simple questions, such as “Can you say more about that?” and “What was that like for you?” can open the door to deeper understanding. Focus your questions on discovering more about the other person rather than on trying to fix their problems. Ask other people what they think or feel about a subject. It is an invitation for them to reveal something unknown about themselves. Sometimes questions lose their power because we ask too many. Allow time for silence in the midst of conversation. Practice reflective listening by summarizing what you hear and asking if it is accurate.

Open friendships.
While the habit of weekly conversation begins in intimacy, it ends in openness. One of the bleakest distortions on friendship is our tendency to ruin it by making it exclusive. The purpose of our friendships should not be to hoard the fruits of our friendship, but also to offer them as nourishment to others. When you meet new people, consider your circle of friends as one of the first places to which you invite them.

Week 7: Curate Media to Four Hours


Stories are formational. They shape our identity. “For better or worse,” says Justin Whitmel Earley, “we will become the stories we give our attention to,”  

While the power of story is ancient, what is new is the medium through which we receive them. In the past decade we’ve experienced an unparalleled shift in how we access stories. With the explosion of digital devices, we are now bombarded with “streaming stories” on a nearly constant basis in the form of movies, online videos, up-to-the-minute news updates, podcasts, and social media posts.

Today people consume three times as much information daily as they did in 1960. Stories aren’t just far more accessible than ever before; they are also far more invasive. Now we don’t choose our stories so as much as they choose us. 

If stories are formational, this means that we live in a world of competing types of formation. With the onslaught of information now accessible to us on our digital devices, we’re daily faced with the challenge of selecting which stories fill our minds. 

In this new world of unlimited streaming stories on our ever-present devices, we urgently need to set limits that force curation. This week’s spiritual practice is curating the media you consume to four hour per week.

The weekly habit of curating media is aimed at cultivating in us the ability to choose stories well. The four-hour part of this habit is somewhat arbitrary. You are welcome to set your own time limit, but the important point is to choose a time limit that empowers you to curate the digital content you consume. 

As Justin Whitmel Earley observes, “The good life doesn’t come from the ability to choose anything and everything; the good life comes from the ability to choose good things by setting limits.”

Three ways to start:

  1. Conduct a time audit. Keeping track of your time is a remarkable way to reveal what you care about. Track your media consumption for a week. Pay attention to the stories you are giving your time to. Are they ones that uphold beauty, teach you to love justice, and turn you toward community? Then set a goal of four hours (or some other reasonable amount of time that you feel comfortable with) for the next week.
  2. Make great lists. Keep a running list of great movies, shows, and podcasts. This is a good way to begin the habit of curating. Instead of just watching “what’s on” or something that Netflix or YouTube suggests, work through a list of things worth watching or listening to. Ask friends for recommendations or search for lists online from people you trust.
  3. Turn off auto-play. The auto-play function incentivizes the choice to watch something immediately after we’ve finished a movie, show, or video. This makes it harder to curate what we consume. Turning this feature off makes it easier to curate our media intake.


Great stories.
“One of the best ways to curate stories well is to encounter great stories,” suggests Justin Whitmel Earley. Select movies or novels that have stood the test of time as your starting point. Notice that reading stories runs counter to the addictive nature of digital media because of the time you have to invest. Consider balancing your media consumption by also reading great novels or biographies.

Read your feed. 
The stories we watch says a lot about us. They inform who we are and what we love. Take an honest assessment of your viewing habits by looking at what YouTube, Netflix, or Instagram thinks you’ll like to look at. Ask if this is truly who you want to be and what you want to love. Finding out what you watch is the first step in curating your media.

Choose in public.
Because of the private nature of phones, you may consider only watching videos only a computer or TV. We tend to make better choices in public spaces. You may also consider installing software on your devices that blocks certain content and even shares your viewing history with a close friend. The point here is to figure out what helps you curate the best content while keeping in mind that we usually curate worse when we curate in private.

Week 8: Fast from Something for Twenty-Four Hours


“We were made to feast,” explains Justin Earley Whitman. “Not in order to become full, but because we are full. We are to celebrate that fullness by feasting.” In God’s original design, his people had no lack. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden where “every tree… is pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9).

But the fall changed all that. In addition to the suffering and death introduced into the world by the fall, our relationship to food was also broken. When Adam and Even ate the fruit, they essentially inverted God’s gift: they ate to become God rather than to celebrate God.

We follow in Adam and Eve’s path. Our tendency is to feast not to celebrate our fullness but to fill our emptiness. “In a world of suffering and death, one of our greatest temptations,” observes Justin Earley Whitman, “is to rehearse the fall again and again through food. We eat to try to fill our emptiness.”

However, the practice of fasting gives us the opportunity to lay down our appetite, whether it be for food, media, or shopping. Adele Calhoun notes, “This act of self-denial may not seem huge—it’s just a meal or a trip to the mall—but it brings us face to face with the hunger at the core of our being.” 

Our practice this week is a weekly habit of fasting from something for twenty-four hours. Jesus said to his disciples, “When you fast…” (Matt 6:16), indicating that he expected his followers to continue this practice which also has a rich history throughout the Old Testament (e.g. 1 Sam 7:6; 2 Sam 12:16, 21-23; Ezra 8:21-23; Dan 9:3; Joel 2:12-13).

The goal of this practice is to help us feast on God by temporarily laying aside the appetites that often control us. And more than any other single discipline, fasting has the uncanny ability to reveal the things that control us. 

Fasting, then, is a way to oppose the original sin of attempting to eat our way to happiness and to force ourselves to look to God for our fullness. When we fast, we willingly set aside a little comfort in order to listen and attend to the voice and nourishment that God alone can give us. 

Three ways to start:

  1. Pick something to fast from. Choosing something that is helpful to fast from is the first step. Most of us typically think of fasting from food, but some of us have bodies or jobs that make fasting from all food for 24 hours impractical. Instead, you may consider other options such as fasting from sugar, meat, alcohol, caffeine, shopping, social media, TV, or internet as a good way to begin fasting regularly. Whatever in our lives is producing a craving in us is a prime area for fasting.
  2. Start with one meal. Fasting from all food from a 24-hour hour period may seem intimidating. If so, consider starting with just skipping one meal such as lunch and replacing it with prayer.
  3. Sundown to sundown. If you are new to fasting from food, consider beginning your fast after dinner and continuing until dinner the next day. This way you can start by only missing two meals rather than three.


Fasting in community.
Honestly, fasting is a difficult practice and it can be hard to summon the discipline when we are just doing it by ourselves. It may be easier to fast in community by inviting others to do it alongside you. Consider creating a text or email chain among the people who are fasting in order to share encouragement and prayers. You may also want to meet together to pray before you begin fasting or share a meal together to break your fast.

Because skipping meals may not naturally lead to prayer, you may want to intentionally set aside the time that you would normally be eating to be with God. Spend time reading the Bible and praying. Worship him for his faithfulness and thank him for where he has come through for you. Bring your desires to God and ask if they are in line with his will. Be still and listen.

Fasting in a healthy way.

  • Don’t fast from food when you are sick, traveling, nursing, or pregnant.
  • Do stay hydrated when fasting by drinking plenty of water and fluids.
  • Don’t fast if you have health issues such as diabetes, gout, liver disease, kidney disease, ulcers, hypoglycemia, cancer, or blood diseases.
  • Do give your body time to adjust to new rhythms of eating if you decide to fast regularly. You may feel more tired on days you fast.
  • Don’t break your fast with a huge meal, but rather begin eating again with smaller portions.
  • Do check with your doctor before attempting longer periods of fasting.
Week 9: Sabbath


In the beginning, God created. For six days, he fashioned his creation. But on the final day, he rested because the work was finished (Genesis 1:1–2:3). We still arrange our lives around this seven-day cadence because we are made for it. 

We need time to focus on working, producing, doing. We also need time to cease from our work and rest. We aren’t made to work without consistent, rhythmic points to pause from our work. The weekly practice of sabbath gives us the opportunity to lay our work aside and to delight in rest and restoration. The Hebrew word for sabbath literally means to stop or cease. 

While our culture still organizes its time around the seven-day schedule, what is noticeably missing now is resting on the seventh day. Unfortunately, everything in our culture pushes against slowing down. We feel compelled to produce more and avoid wasting time. 

In addition, our culture glorifies busyness. We are tempted to embrace our busy schedules as a badge of honor. This makes it easy to fall into the misconception that our busyness somehow proves that we matter and that the world depends on us. 

The weekly practice of sabbath, however, teach us that God sustains the world and that we don’t. The sabbath serves to regularly remind us that we are finite. There are limits to our energy. Honoring our limitations is a way to honor the infinite God, who himself worked and then rested. 

While we tend not to like limits, sabbath rest invites us to embrace our limitations. “Practicing sabbath is supposed to make us feel like we can’t get it all done,” observes Justin Earley Whitman, “because that is the way reality is.” When we try to live beyond our limits, our bodies and souls both suffer for it. Sabbath shows us that rest is a generous gift intended for our good. 

The biblical concept of sabbath centers around delight and refreshment in the presence of God and each other. “Sabbath is the essence of our salvation,” says Justin Earley Whitman. “We can rest because God has done all that needs to be done.” On sabbath mornings we wake to a world we did not create and a friendship with God that we did not earn.

Three ways to start:

  1. Pick a 24-hour period. Choose a 24-hour time period that works best for work schedule and your family or community of friends. That may be Saturday from sundown to Sunday sundown. Others may choose all day Sunday or a different day of the week. Realize that a student, a firefighter, a retiree, and a working mother will all select different times to sabbath based on their situation and season of life. The important part is to choose a specific period and communicate it to the people who need to know or who are keeping the sabbath with you. 
  2. Doing and not doing. You may need time to figure out what makes a restful and worshipful sabbath for you. If you are just beginning this practice, consider writing down three things to do and three things you want to avoid. Consider what makes a sabbath day nourishing and replenishing to you. Of course, these may change over time. The point of writing them down isn’t to be legalistic, but rather to help you be intentional.
  3. Communal sabbaths. Keeping the sabbath as a community is a great way to get into a regular rhythm. Consider attending a worship service together or sharing a communal meal together. Just make sure to share the burden of food preparation and cleaning so that it is restful for everyone involved.


Work on the weekends.
Work tends to be like gas in a container — it will expand to fill the space we allow for it. If you have a job that necessitates some work on your weekends or days off, you may consider trying to do all the work on one day rather than spreading it out over both off days. That way you can finish your work on one day and full enter into resting on the other day. 

Digital sabbaths.  
One of the most important ways you might practice sabbath is by turning off all screens. Time away from screens aids in disconnecting us from our sense of having to be constantly connected and available. However, this doesn’t need to be a hard-and-fast rule. Do a trial period of a few sabbaths without screens to experience what it is like. But if watching a sports game or movie is important to your sense of sabbath, you can certainly build it back in.

Away messages. 
If you work at a job that you feel like requires you to be available during your off-hours, try a simple away email message that lets people know you are enjoying time off and will be away until a certain time period. Most people will appreciate and honor your boundary if you set a clear expectation about your accessibility and communicate when you will be available to respond.



“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.”
(Psalm 1:1-2)
The Bible repeatedly invites us to meditate on God — his character, his Word, and his creation. For centuries, Christians have used a specific method of reading and meditating on Scripture called lectio divina, which means “sacred reading.”
The practice of lectio divina focuses on reading Scripture in a formational way rather than an informational way. It aims at heart-to-heart intimacy with God as we encounter him in his written Word. For those who are unfamiliar with the practice of lectio divina, below is a brief overview.
The practice of lectio divina can be compared to the movements of a symphony. Lectio divina progresses through four main movements which involve a natural rhythm between reading and silence similar to the rhythms of conversation or the waves of the ocean. 
Let’s look at each of the individual movements of lectio divina along with some practical instructions of how to go about each one.
Read (Movement 1)
Select a short passage of Scripture to read, usually around 6–8 verses. Some find it helpful to start with a short passage from the Gospels. Read the passage in a slow, reflective way allowing space to listen and respond to what God is speaking to you personally through his Word. Reading the passage aloud is recommended to engage your sense of hearing. Your ears may hear something in the reading that your eyes may miss. Be open and attentive to whatever stands out to you.

  • Read: Listen for a specific word or phrase from the passage that is addressed to you personally.
  • Ask: “What is God’s word for me?”
  • Silence: Sit with that word or phrase and savor it.

Reflect (Movement 2)
Read the selected passage again in a slow and reflective pace. If the Scripture passage you are reading is a teaching or discourse passage, notice what stands out or resonates with you, trusting that this is the prompting of the Holy Spirit. If your selected Scripture passage is a story, use your imagination to picture and even enter into the scene.

  • Read: Reflect on how the word touches your life or your current circumstances.
  • Ask: “What is it in my life that needs to hear this word today?”
  • Silence: Stay present to the word God has spoken to you and explore your sensory impressions, perceptions, and feelings.

Respond (Movement 3)
Read the selected passage a third time, this time considering your response to what God is saying to you through his Word. A truly interactive life with God will be one in which God speaks to you (most often through Scripture) and where you respond to God about what you think you have heard.

  • Read: Listen for your own deepest and truest response to God’s Word.
  • Ask: “What is my response to God based on what I have read and encountered?”
  • Silence: Allow your prayer to flow spontaneously from your heart. Enter into personal dialogue with God.

Rest (Movement 4)
Read the selected passage a final time with the intent of fully receiving all that God has given to you in his Word. This last phase provides space to simply be present with God. You can contemplate what has come to you or notice how the interaction affected you. You may also find yourself worshiping God who says and does marvelous things.

  • Read: Rest in the Word of God.
  • Silence: Rest with God and enjoy his presence.

Reading for formation.
Our whole lives we’ve been trained to read for information by analyzing what we read to extract facts with a goal of mastering content. Reading for formation is very different. The goal of lectio divina isn’t to master the text, but to allow God to speak through it to us. This requires a different way of reading that is intentionally slow and reflective. Don’t feel like you have to rush to get to the end of a passage. Linger and listen for God’s word to you. Enter into the story by reading in a way that involves not just your mind, but also your heart, emotions, and senses.

Try a different translation. 
Sometimes we’ve read a biblical passage from the same translation so many times that we come to it with a sense that we already know it. Therefore, we’re apt to only skim over the surface of it without actually listening to it. In these cases, you may try a different translation to help you listen to the passage in a new way.

Start with a felt need.
The best place to start with meditating on Scripture is with one of your own felt needs. Download the list of 20 Bible Passages to Get You Started with Scripture MeditationSelect one of the four areas listed and work your way through the suggested passages that address each concern. (For additional passages, see Jan Johnson’s Meeting God in Scripture.)



As we conclude our series on spiritual practices, we invite you to go back and review the practices that we’ve covered in this series:


  • Daily Review with God
  • Kneeling Prayer
  • One Meal with Others
  • One Hour Phone Off
  • Scripture Before Phone


  • One Hour Conversation with a Friend
  • Curate Media to Four Hours
  • Fast from Something for 24 Hours
  • Sabbath
  • Scripture Meditation (Lectio Divina)

After reviewing the suggested spiritual practices, consider and pray about which of them you would like to regularly include in your life.

If you haven’t been participating in the bonus “Crafting A Rule of Life” part of this series, consider using that as an additional guide to building more intentional and regular spiritual practices into your life.

Crafting a Rule of Life

Rule of Life: Introduction


Today we’re going to look at what a personal rule of life is and why you would want to craft one. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to give you practical steps to creating your own rule of life.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

Amidst our busy daily schedules, we’re continually juggling relationships and responsibilities. At times we may feel like we’re dropping more balls than we’re keeping in the air. In addition to our daily activities, we are also shaped by the values and expectations of our families, communities, and society.

If we lack a consistent and thoughtful way of doing life well, we will end up distracted and overwhelmed by life. Or we will allow our environment and culture to shape us rather than allowing God to form us into his image. The result is that our spiritual growth will either plateau or be derailed.

But Paul invites us to take a different approach to life:

“Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God.”
— Romans 12:1–2, The Message

Rather than life just happening to us, a personal rule of life provides a way for us to live our everyday, ordinary lives according to the spiritual, relational, and vocational rhythms we need to sustain our life in Christ.A rule of life is a commitment to live your life in a particular way.


According to Peter Scazzero, a rule of life is “an intentional, conscious plan to keep God at the center of everything we do. The starting point and foundation of any rule is a desire to be with God and to love him.”

A rule of life is simply a set of guidelines that support or enable us to do the things we want and need to do. In this way, a personal rule of life is similar to a trellis that offers support and guidance for a plant, helping it grow in a certain direction. It serves as a gentle guide that keeps you trained toward God.


A personal rule of life helps us intentionally fix our attention on God. It provides us with life-giving rhythms that assist us in becoming aware of and embracing what God is doing for us and in us.

A rule of life differs from the goals or resolutions we tend to set for ourselves. Those methods are task-based and focus on what we do.

A rule of life, on the other hand, is centered around who we are becoming. “It is comprised of several simple statements that,” according to Jenn Giles Kemper, “guide the posture of your life and the living of your days.”

A personal rule of life is intended to encompass all areas of your life. As we begin to frame your personal rule of life over the next several weeks, we’ll be considering your:

  • Roles (What are your primary relationships?)
  • Gifts (What are your God-given gifts, talents, and temperament?)
  • Desires (What are your deepest longings and core values?)
  • Vision (What is the intentional passion God has planted in you?)
  • Mission (What am I currently doing to pursue my vision?)

Each of these areas will serve as the raw material for forming your personal rule of life which will take into account all areas of your life.

Each week, these emails will guide you in examining the priorities of your life and give you a way to live them out intentionally to God’s glory.


Creating and living by a rule of life may not be for everyone, but in our rushed and fragmented world, it’s a helpful, time-honored practice for wise living. Here are a few guidelines to remember as we get started:

Allow your rule to develop slowly over time. Listen for God. As Jenn Giles Kemper advises, your rule of life “is meant to be crafted with prayer and discernment, in partnership with God, as you consider the way God made you and the values He has inscribed upon your heart.”

Consider inviting others into this exercise with you, such as a spouse, a significant other or friend, a spiritual director, or members of your community.

You don’t have to get it right. Regard your rule as a living document—something you can review and adjust as you live it out. Remember the purpose of the rule of life is to intentionally create time and space to enjoy deep fellowship with God so that you are increasingly becoming more like Jesus and joining him on mission.

Next week, we’ll be giving you the first step in crafting your own rule of life.

Week 1: Roles

WEEK 1: Roles – What are My Primary Relationships?

This week, as we begin framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on identifying your primary roles and their corresponding relationships. Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Roles: Your personal rule of life is discerned and framed within the context of your primary relationships and your spiritual community, and lived out in service to others. 

Questions 1-3 are a great way to begin this process. The best way to approach all of the questions throughout this process is to jot down the first ideas that come to mind. You will have time later to refine your responses to any of the exercises you complete in this process.

This first set of questions (1-3) is designed to help you frame your personal rule of life with a focus on roles and relationships. Don’t assume that all roles and relationships are life-giving; some may in fact be the opposite, and that’s perfectly acceptable—and very normal.

1. List all your key relationships (names) and the role you play in each (father or mother, brother or sister, boss, colleague, student, friend). It’s fine to list multiple roles next to more in-depth or complex relationships.

2. Place a qualitative number (1 for relatively unhealthy, to 5 for relatively healthy) next to each key relationship. You might also include any helpful or descriptive commentary. Who might need to hear from you a word of encouragement, affirmation, or apology?

3. Place a “+” sign next to the roles that are most life-giving for you and a “-” sign next to the roles that are most life-draining. Include helpful, descriptive commentary. Also place a star next to the roles that, for whatever reason, require special attention at this time. What is God inviting you to consider for each of your primary roles today?

Take time now in questions 4-6 to begin working on this segment of your overarching personal rule of life statements. Don’t expect to create a final draft the first time around.

As you progress in developing your personal rule of life, you’ll return to these foundational statements frequently so their life-giving nature will not only be planted in your souls but germinate, grow, be pruned and blossom forth to God’s glory.

4. From the list you have developed, identify five to seven of your most important roles (in order of priority) with key relationships named in each. Be as specific as possible about each role (e.g., father, husband and brother rather than “family man”).

5. Prayerfully consider how God might be inviting you to focus on your top roles and key relationships during this season of your life. Are there specific issues you need to attend to within your particular roles or relationships at this time?

6. Ask the Lord how best to tend to your own emotional health. Write down any specific ideas you wish to consider in prioritizing your emotional needs. Be honest about this and reflect on your current emotional health and how it is affecting the quality of your relationships.

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group.

You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week, we will consider your gifts and talents.


Week 2: Gifts


This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on identifying your spiritual gifts, natural talents, and temperament. Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Gifts: Your personal rule of life is discerned and framed through the discovery of your spiritual gifts, natural talents, and temperament. 

As you answer questions 1–3 consider afresh your own personal talents and spiritual gifts. Reflect on the life God has invited you to fulfill in the context of the specific gifts he has placed in your care. Remember that all our spiritual gifts (e.g., of mercy, teaching, administration, evangelism) and natural talents (e.g. cooking meals or building houses) are to be recognized and maximized for the glory of God and the benefit of his kingdom on earth.

  1. What are the top three to five activities in your life that are most life-giving for you? In contrast, what activities are most life-draining? In what ways does this reflect your self-awareness of the temperament God has created deep within you?


  1. What do you consider to be your primary spiritual gifts? Ask a few friends who know you best and love you most to identify those areas of giftedness they appreciate about you. Do they match your self-understanding? Download our Discovering Your Gifts resource for a helpful list of questions you can ask your community to identify your gifts.


  1. What are the primary natural talents God has given to you to steward well in this life (e.g. cooking, athleticism, woodwork, crafts, singing, photography, etc.)? Which talents do you want to strengthen through further training, developing greater expertise, or helping others utilize for themselves?


Take time now to begin writing the personal rule of life statement regarding your gifts and talents.

  1. As you review your list of activities, gifts and talents, in what ways does your temperament factor into how you utilize or underutilize each of these? Do you need to better understand the temperament that God has given to you? If so, consider using tools designed to aid us in increasing our self-awareness (e.g, Myers-Briggs, DISC, Enneagram, or StrengthsFinder).


  1. In what ways is God inviting you to use your primary spiritual gifts for serving others and glorifying the Father?


  1. Write one to three sentences on how you wish to pursue deepening your self-understanding as it relates to your gifts, talents, and temperament. What help or resources will you need in this process?

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group.

You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week, we will consider your desires and longings.


Week 3: Desires

WEEK 3: Desires – What are My Deepest Longings and Core Values?

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on discerning your desires, longings, and core values. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–2, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Desires: Your personal rule of life is discerned and framed through the longings, yearnings and goals God has placed on your heart and mind that propel you forward with joy.

When answering questions 1–3, be honest and transparent as you identify the significant longings and desires of your heart that you trust have been placed there by God. Pay attention to the passions and yearnings that inform your daily convictions and have led you into areas of relationship and service with others. Acknowledge the longings of your heart with a deep sense of God’s strong hand of blessing and assurance.

  1. What are the deepest desires and longings of your heart today? List all that come to your heart and mind—the sky’s the limit! For the sake of making a faith-filled and honorable commitment to Christ, pay attention to those excellent, God-honoring desires that are to be fed rather than the inappropriate, God-dishonoring desires (self-centered wants) that need to be starved.


  1. What matters most to you today? As a child of God, what are the core values that serve as the foundation for your relationships, responsibilities, and decision making? List all that matter most to you.


  1. Are you currently living in accordance with your desires and core values? In other words, if a core value is honesty or transparency, is this evidenced in your primary relationships, or are you holding back for some reason? What would need to change in order for you to fully attend to your core values and the deepest desires of your heart?


In questions 4–6, begin writing your personal rule of life statement as it is related to your desires, passions, and goals. Don’t expect to create a final draft the first time around. As you progress in developing your personal rule of life, remember that we will often return to these foundational statements so that their life-giving nature can be planted in your soul to germinate, grow, be pruned, and blossom forth for God’s glory.

  1. Go back to your list of desires (question 1) and prioritize them. Then list the top three to five here. Reflect on this list and note anything that might be missing. Then add or edit accordingly.


  1. Go back to your list of core values (question 2) and prioritize them. Then list the top three to five here. How does this list look to you? Anything missing or need to be edited?


  1. In SMART goal language, write out at least one key goal related to how you sense God is inviting you to make a change in your life today that would reflect more significantly one or more of your top desires. A SMART goal is:
    • Specific (pointed and direct),
    • Measurable (can be measured),
    • Achievable (within reach and possible),
    • Results-orientated, (answers why), and
    • Timed, (with a clear start and end time).

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week, we will consider your vision and passion.

Week 4: Vision

WEEK 4: Vision — What Is the Intentional Passion God Has Planted in Me?

“The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” — Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your vision and passion. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–3, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Vision: Your personal rule of life is discerned and framed within the holistic, long-term vision and passion God has planted in your heart.

Our personal rule of life, like Benedict’s communal rule, is impossible to fulfill by nature. Though it’s not to be harsh or burdensome, it can be accomplished only by the help of God’s grace. In the prologue to Benedict’s Rule, we find three key phrases, which serve as the basis for questions 1–3.

  1. “What is not possible to us by nature, let us ask the Lord to supply by the help of his grace” (from The Rule of St. Benedict). What aspect of God’s grace feels most inviting to you as you consider crafting your own rule of life?


  1. “We hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome” (from The Rule of St. Benedict). A rule of life is crafted so a full life can be achieved. What do you most fear about writing your own rule that may seem harsh or burdensome?


  1. “But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” (from The Rule of St. Benedict). How is the path of God’s Word coming alive for you in this rule-of-life discovery process?


Take time in questions 4–6 to begin writing the following personal rule of life statements. Notice the progression of thought from call to passion to vision. Be open and receptive to the nudging of God’s Spirit as you reflect on these questions. Each is designed to help you process the larger, longer-view approach to life and will help you articulate the way forward.

  1. Call. What has God called you to that only you can fulfill? Without too many specifics, our call is the overarching direction of our life in Christ. It’s the way forward toward our vision, and it’s fueled by our passion. It’s still pretty general when written, and it acknowledges God’s hand on our lives for the long haul.God has called me to:


  1. Passion. What has God placed deeply in your heart and soul that speaks of your most sincere concern for others and yourself? Passion is the fuel that keeps the engine of your vision alive. It’s what God has given to you that few others share in the same way; it comes directly from your life story and feeds into God’s invitation to live for his glory. Fill in the blank with words of deep concern.What energizes me the most is my passionate concern for:The passion God has placed deep in my soul is:


  1. Vision.What do you sense God is inviting you to as it relates to your preferred future? It’s something attractive that you’re running after but have yet to taste. It’s “out there” in the future and it’s captured your heart like few other things in life. It’s that big idea you would like to pursue; prayerfully considering it is exhilarating. Fill in the blank: When I imagine my life in partnership with God, I desire ___________________________more than anything.The vision God has planted in my heart for the future can be summarized as follows:

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week, we will consider your mission and purpose.

Week 5: Mission

WEEK 5: Mission — What Am I Currently Doing to Pursue My Vision? 

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your mission and purpose. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1-4, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Mission: Your personal rule of life is discerned and framed within the specific purpose(s) God invites you to fulfill in this season of life.  

With the backdrop of roles, gifts, passions, and vision before us, now is the time to ponder the subject of mission. As you answer questions 1–3, ask, “What is God inviting me to consider as my personal mission?” This foundational question completes the framework of your rule of life and clarifies what you invest in as a child of God, set apart for purposes greater than yourself.

  1. List words and phrases that best describe your current areas of involvement — your major areas of relationship and responsibility at home, work, school, ministry, and church. Prayerfully review this list to be sure it’s accurate and comprehensive.
  1. Which of these relationships and responsibilities need even greater attention today? Explain.
  1. If given the opportunity, which of these relationships and responsibilities could you eliminate or hold off from attending to during this season of your life? Why?

As you answer questions 4–6, consider your current and preferred mission and purpose in life, prayerfully pondering both the “doing and “being” that embody your daily service to others. Building on what you’ve discovered in previous emails, what is God inviting you to consider as you discern this central aspect of your personal rule of life?

  1. What relationships do you feel called by God to deepen in the coming weeks and months?


  1. What at responsibilities do you feel called by God to strengthen in the coming weeks and months?


  1. Prayerfully consider writing a draft of your personal mission statement. After writing it here, read it several times and share it with a friend. Edit and revise accordingly.

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week, we will consider your spiritual priorities.

Week 6: Time — Spiritual Priorities

WEEK 6: Time — Spiritual Priorities 

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your spiritual rhythms and practices. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–5, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Time: Your personal rule of life is formed and reflected in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual spiritual rhythms and practices.  

The specifics of one’s rule of life begins with the spiritual priorities of the soul. What are the practices that feed your heart with more of God? How and where will you focus on the disciplines of sabbath, silence and solitude, reading Scripture, developing a life of prayer, and the ongoing rhythms of reflection? Questions 1–3 will help you reveal these practices. Pay attention along the way to the nudging of the Spirit as he invites you into deeper fellowship with him.

  1. What is your current spiritual practice in relation to the Word of God? How are reading and reflecting on the biblical text?
  2. What is your current spiritual practice in relation to your life of prayer? How do you define prayer and in what ways are you continuing to learn how to pray?
  3. What is your current spiritual practice in relation to being reflective about your life, relationships, ministry to others and service in the marketplace, community and so on? If you are using a journal to record these reflections, how is this enhancing this spiritual practice? If you are not journaling, how else are you leaning into reflection as a spiritual practice?

After answering questions 4–6, take time to begin writing the following personal rule of life statements on the downloadable chart TIME: YOUR SPIRITUAL PRIORITIES.

  1. What words or phrases best describe the state of your heart and soul today? What words or phrases best describe your desired state of heart and soul (your relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)?


  1. What is the current condition of your prayer life? A center of quiet is best achieved within a space that’s conducive for uninterrupted time to read, reflect and receive the Word of God; enter into prayerful communion with the Lord; and practice the discipline of reflection. How can you carve out time and space for this priority to be enhanced in the future?


  1. Beyond your personal prayer life, in order to practice sabbath rest (as a day set apart as well as a lifestyle) what kind of help do you need to deepen and strengthen your walk with God today and into the future? In the downloadable chart list the people, places and events that emerge as priorities which contribute to the deepening of your relationship with God.

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week we will consider your relational priorities.

WEEK 7: Trust — Relational Priorities

WEEK 7: Trust — Relational Priorities 

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your relational priorities. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–6, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Trust: Your personal rule of life is formed and reflected in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual relational priorities.  

In what ways is God inviting you to recalibrate your relationships? In questions 1–3 you will be encouraged to prayerfully consider the state of your primary relationships. In order for your strengths and weaknesses to be identified side by side, it’s important to be candid in your reflections. As you address these issues, consider ways to reveal your discoveries to those most directly affected. This section of your rule of life will impact all other areas yet to be revealed.

  1. Review the “roles” from the previous section. List here the relationships that occupy the majority of your time. What are the greatest joys and blessings of these relationships? 
  2. Now review the same list of relationships and list the greatest needs of either the relationship itself or the individual or group involved. Note carefully, empathically and prayerfully the situation(s) that have contributed to these needs. 
  3. Attend to your own emotional state for a few moments. What feelings or emotions are you dealing with that need some attention? Are you dealing with any sense of desolation or discouragement in reference to these relationships? Or are there any emotional concerns rising up from deep within that you’d like to seek help to better understand? (Be sure not to avoid what rises to the surface; seek professional counsel as needed.)  

After answering questions 4-6, take time to begin writing the personal rule of life statements on the downloadable chart TRUST: YOUR RELATIONAL PRIORITIES.

  1. Who are the people that mean the most to you? How do you feel called to deepen those relationships so they continue to be a source of ongoing encouragement and enrichment? 


  1. Do you feel called to come alongside some of your key relationships in order that healing, hope, forgiveness, or restoration can occur? Explain.


  1. Take some time to consider your relational and emotional development priorities for the upcoming season of your life. Put these into meaningful phrases or sentences that will enhance trust within the key relationships noted. Don’t try to be comprehensive here. Instead, prayerfully ask the Lord to lead you to the relationships or emotions of greatest priority.

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week we will consider your physical priorities.

WEEK 8: Temple — Physical Priorities

WEEK 8: Temple — Physical Priorities

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your relational priorities. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–7, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Temple: Your personal rule of life is formed and reflected in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual physical priorities (the care and training of your body, mind, and heart).  

Since our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit, we need to take a close look at how well we are caring for our physical well-being. There are daily regimens to consider, as well as seasonal and regular routines that require our diligent attention. In questions 1­-3 we will address these important issues. Be frank in your replies; ultimately it will affect your health and well-being. This issue matters to God and will have ripple effects on those who love you most and who are your companions on the way.

  1. When is the last time you visited a doctor, dentist, or dietician? What is your current routine for such visits?
  2. When is the last time you were on a regular diet and/or exercise program? What is your current routine in this regard?
  3. List the current ways you are resting, replenishing, and renewing your body, heart, and mind. Which aspect needs the greatest attention right now? How will you accomplish this?

After answering questions 4-6, take time to begin writing the personal rule of life statements on the downloadable chart TEMPLE: YOUR PHYSICAL PRIORITIES.

  1. Diet, exercise, and rest. What are your desired dietary, exercise, and rest (both sabbath and sleep) priorities? Be specific.


  1. Hobbies and recreation. What are your desired hobby and recreational priorities? Be specific.


  1. Heart and mind. What are your desired emotional and intellectual priorities? Be specific.

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week we will consider your financial priorities.

WEEK 9: Treasure — Financial Priorities

WEEK 9: Treasure — Financial Priorities 

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your financial priorities. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–8, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
– Matthew 6:19-21

Treasure: Your personal rule of life is formed and reflected in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual financial and material stewardship priorities.  
Do you understand how much God cares about your finances and how well you are stewarding all that you have for his glory? In this section we find ourselves guided humbly into an area of heartfelt concern. How you are handling your treasure is a good indication of the current state of your heart. As you answer questions 1-3, reflect with honesty; don’t hold back your thoughts. Be sure not to approach this with any manner of pretense or angst. There’s freedom in telling the truth, particularly in this regard.

  1. What words or phrases best describe the ways you manage your material and financial resources?


  1. What material or financial resources or concerns have a grip on your soul, are of disproportionate importance to you, and as a result need to be held more loosely?


  1. If given the opportunity, what would you want to change about your current ability to steward your material and financial resources? It might be helpful to look at the past six months’ financial activities—bank account, investment portfolio, personal/family budget, and credit card statements—and pray over these while formulating your answer to this question.

After answering questions 4-6, take time to begin writing the personal rule of life statements on the downloadable chart TREASURE: YOUR FINANCIAL PRIORITIES.

  1. As you reflect prayerfully on your material and financial life, what do you sense the Lord is inviting you to adopt as new or renewed practices? For example, not spending more than_____ dollars per month on coffee or on clothing, or fasting from entertainment for a certain number of months and giving the money saved to charity.


  1. With whom are you discussing this priority? What would be most helpful from others to help you forge ahead in this area of life?


  1. In what ways do you desire more simplicity in your material and financial stewardship priorities?

Feel free to share your responses with a trusted friend, significant other, spouse, or small group. You can also share in our private pop-up Facebook group that we have set up specifically for this email series.

Next week we will consider your missional priorities.

WEEK 10: Talent — Missional Priorities

WEEK 10: Talent — Missional Priorities 

This week, as we continue framing your personal rule of life, we will be focusing on your missional priorities. If you want to review the questions from Weeks 1–9, you can access them here.

Note that these exercises are adapted from Stephen A. Macchia’s excellent book, Crafting a Rule of Life (InterVarsity Press, 2012).

“The calling of all of us, is the calling to be Christ’s. To be Christ’s in whatever way we are able to be. To be Christ’s with whatever gladness we have and in whatever place, among whatever bothers we are called to. That is the vocation, the destiny to which we were all of us called even before the foundations of the world.”
– Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark

Talent: Your personal rule of life is formed and reflected in your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual missional priorities.  

God’s invitation to fulfill his call becomes clearer as you get closer to his heart. Listening intently to his Word in prayer combined with community discernment is essential. When God calls, he makes the mission clear. His voice and his will are most specifically evident in a life of faithful love and obedience. In questions 1-3, count on the reality of God’s mission—and all the accompanying details —to become apparent as you attend to his voice of invitation. There is no greater joy than living in the center of his divine will. Pursue that with your whole heart and trust others to help guide you toward the well-ordered way, your personal rule of life.

  1. Where and with whom are you currently investing yourself in service to others? This can include the marketplace, community, church and family, domestically or abroad.

  1. Where and with whom do you desire in the future to invest yourself in service to others? Again, this includes the marketplace, community, church and family, domestically or abroad.


  1. In what ways do you need further training, assistance, or partnership with others in order for your personal mission priorities to be fulfilled?

WEEK 10: Talent — Missional Priorities 


  1. Return to the mission statement you crafted previously (Week 5) and analyze whether that statement is in alignment with your current investment of yourself in service to others. How should this statement be revised to keep these priorities in focus?


  1. As you prayerfully review your current and desired places of missional service, which areas are most life-giving? Should any be eliminated because they have come to an end or the situation has changed, and they are inappropriate investments of your gifts and calling?


  1. Download the TALENT: YOUR MISSIONAL PRIORITIES chart to record your priorities for stewarding your missional priorities.

CONCLUSION: Weaving Together Your Personal Rule of Life

Weaving Together Your Personal Rule of Life

Your personal rule of life is a holistic description of the Spirit-empowered rhythms and relationship that create, redeem, sustain and transform the life God invites you to humbly fulfill for Christ’s glory.
For the past five weeks we have been forming a personal rule of life around the five major priorities of life: spiritual, relational, physical, material, and missional. These capture the essence of how we utilize our time, trust, temple, treasure, and talent all for the glory of God. Each step of the way included questions for further reflection. 

Now it’s time to summarize what you’ve written down in the previous five weeks and capture your thoughts on one large chart. Either download and use the chart for that purpose or create your own version. Be sure to consider all of these areas of your personal life but don’t feel compelled to fill in every blank area or it may seem too restrictive or overwhelming. This exercise is designed to be life-giving, so approach it with prayerful openness and receptivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Download the Weaving Together Your Personal Rule of Life summary chart.