The Apprentice of Jesus Pathway

"My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life.  It influences everything I do."




If you sense you are living in this stage of your journey
, here are some suggestions and options you might be interested in trying as you seek to make the most of our intentional spiritual journey to Christlikeness.

Let the journey begin!

The call to follow Christ is also a call to be transformed into His image. Thus, kingdom living begins when we accept Jesus’ invitation to keep company with him…that we might become like him (Mark 3:14; Mark 1:17; John 15; John 17:3; Galatians 4:9; Colossians 3:1-17). In other words, we become like Christ by interaction with Christ himself. Taking on the character of Christ then, being spiritually formed, flows from an ongoing interaction with Christ, through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, to receive from God the life we cannot birth in ourselves.

The fact is we can’t change our own hearts. We can’t control, manage, or dictate spiritual reality in our lives. The active agent in the transformation process is the Holy Spirit, who regenerates, enlightens, motivates, and empowers believers in their inner being by his presence to grow us in our likeness to Christ.  On the other hand, it is unlikely that we will deepen our relationship with God in a random or unintentional way.

Although we cannot by direct effort change our heart, we are invited to participate with God in our transformation. We do this by a purposeful pattern of life…of intentionally placing ourselves in environments where we create the conditions in our lives so as to train our hearts to recognize and surrender to the already ongoing, maturing and healing presence of the Holy Spirit, who is shaping us to be like Jesus and bringing about God’s Kingdom purposes and mission. 

For example, if you were asked to list people, places or events that were instrumental in your spiritual development, what are some of those things you would list?  More than likely it would look something like this:  a friend who took you “under wing” as a spiritual mentor, a retreat place or summer camp, a book, a missions trip, Scripture, an altar experience, cancer, fasting, a pastor, serving in a soup kitchen, etc. All of these “environments” provided the opportunity for you to open your heart to the transforming presence and work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

If you would like to know more, you may listen to the sermon called The Intentional Journey.

The good news is there are some natural “places” of transformation already embedded in our lives and our church that become opportunities to encounter Jesus’ transforming presence. All of the people, places, and/or events you listed earlier can be organized into five environments that provide opportunities to encounter Jesus: personal, relational, intellectual, missional, and experiential.  These five environments can be identified by the acrostic P.R.I.M.E. Click on the links below to read more about each environment.

 

Personal Environments

We are transformed by intentional spiritual practices1 Timothy 4:7-8

The intentional practice of a spiritual discipline such as scripture reading, prayer, solitude, or fasting are environments where we train our hearts to remain open and surrendered to the fresh, ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.  They are not "spiritual principles" or "moral guidelines" we perform as a way to go about improving our condition.  They are not a formula we follow so we can harness divine favor or look godly.

 

They are indispensable to a life of faith, but only to the degree that they allow us to "keep company" or connect with God.  Often it is through a spiritual discipline that we make space in our lives for God to birth in us what we cannot do ourselves.  Transformation is entirely by grace (the work of the Spirit), but it requires our active, intentional participation through regular spiritual practices.

Personal Environments Description

For more information on personal environments, read this document.

Personal Environments Sermon

For more information on personal environments, listen to this sermon.

Keeping in Step with the Spirit

Listen to a sermon about keeping in step with the Spirit.

Spiritual Practices

Even if you have a good foundation in core spiritual practices, such as Bible engagement and prayer practices, you will discover that there are untouched areas of needed growth. These personal spiritual practices are highly focused and targeted exercises to help you live into the fullness of the fruit of the Spirit. Watch this video to learn more. 

Savor the Scriptures

To respond appropriately to God's Word, we must study it with an engaged heart. This means discovering how to meet God through study, memorization and prayerful engagement with Scripture, and it will take your love for God to a deeper and more intimate level.

Meeting God in the Text

Distinct from other ways of approaching the Bible, the practice of reading Scripture devotionally is the primary mode of reading the Bible for transformation. It is an approach to Scripture with a spirit of attentiveness, seeking to be open and receptive, trusting and listening for how the living Word may be speaking to us in a fresh way.

Daily Office Prayer

Fixed hour of prayer, also commonly referred to as the Daily Offices or the "liturgy of the hours," is the oldest form of Christian spiritual discipline and has its roots in Judaism out of which Christianity came. When the Psalmist says, "Seven times a day do I praise you," he is referring to fixed-hour prayer as it existed in ancient Judaism.  Learn more about the Daily Office at the Explore Faith website or by reading this document or reading the book The Attentive Life by Leighton Ford.

Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

Journey through this book written by Richard Foster.

Prayer of Examen

Regularly observing and reviewing the movements and moments of our day helps us become more aware of the Holy Spirit's activity in our lives and a willingness to be honest about ourselves.

Listening Prayer

Listening is the fundamental stance of the person of faith and a vital part of our faith journey. Listening skills must be developed. Read this document to learn how we develop the skills needed to listen to God.

Practicing the Presence of God

Practicing the presence of God is a way of living into a deeper awareness of God's activity in our lives and staying connected throughout our day. It is the ability to recognize his presence in every moment. Read this document to learn how we train ourselves to do this.

Embracing Sabbath

Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something...anything...is better than doing nothing. Yet under the spell of speed, we are desperately in need of something sacred. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. Poisoned by this hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rest. And for want of rest, our lives are in danger.

 

Quick-Read Resources

Below is a list of resources to help you:

Rule of Life

God's desire for each of us is that we would enter into a with-God life centered around Christ. This doesn't happen automatically or haphazardly. The purpose of the rule of life is to help regulate our entire lives in such a way that we truly prefer the love of Christ above all things.  Find out how to develop your own rule of life.

 
 

Relational Environments

We are transformed in relationship with one anotherJohn 17:20-21

Jesus' transformative presence is rooted in relationship with God and one another. Therefore being formed in Christlikeness for kingdom purposes is always lived out and made complete in community. Communities of grace define who we are and how we live in trust, love, grace, humility, dignity, and justice. Biblical truths and messages are hammered out on the anvil of faithful community living...in an environment of ongoing nurture through relationships of trust, vulnerability, modeling, and accountability.

 

We cannot grow fully into Christ's image apart from regular, sometimes difficult and messy, engagement with other Christ followers in which our jealousies, irritations, and resentments are confronted and the virtues of patience, love, and forgiveness are given regular opportunities to be practiced.

Relational Environments Description

For more information on relational environments, read this document.

Relational Environments Sermon

For more information on relational environments, listen to this sermon.

Lead a Life Group

Training is provided as as ongoing weekly and quarterly leadership training. For more information, contact Pastor Dave.

Mentor Others

Mentors are spiritual friends who are a bit further along in the journey toward Christlikeness. Investing in the lives of others is both a privilege and a responsibility for spiritually mature Christians, and is often a great source of new growth in love for others. Alongside, a ministry at Faith, is designed to create meaningful connections between women that will help them develop deeper friendships, receive encouragement, and assist in their spiritual journey.

MyFaithPasco

Join myFaithPasco, our primary networking tool for keeping connected at Faith and up-to-date on current events.

 
 

Intellectual Environments

We are transformed as we apply Biblical truth to our mind and heart
2 Timothy 3:16-17Colossians 3:16

Our interaction with the Word of God must go beyond human intellectualism. Scripture has the capacity to become for us a holy ground on which we actually meet with God. The teaching and preaching of sound doctrine, adhering to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, is absolutely essential. Yet believing that the head and heart are to be integrated and not divorced, the goal is never about just obtaining more information. Transformation of mind and heart comes to us through wisdom and revelation. What we discover is that we need both.

 

To respond appropriately to God's Word, we must study it, but we also have to engage our hearts. We must strike a delicate balance between historical-critical engagement with Scripture and opening oneself to the Word's life-transforming potential. There should always be room for serious study that personalize the Scripture so that its truth can affect how we think, our attitudes, and how we live, our actions.

 

When we approach Scripture as the living Word of God, it invites us to pay attention to how God may be speaking to us in a fresh way and it becomes a place of encounter with Jesus.

Intellectual Environments Description

For more information on intellectual environments, read this document.

Intellectual Environments Sermon

For more information on intellectual environments, listen to this sermon.

Suggested Reading

Some suggested reading material (some of these titles are available at the Resource Center at the church):

 
  • Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
  • Emotionally Healthy Spiritually by Peter Scazzero
  • Surrender to Love by David Benner
  • Sabbath by Wayne Muller
  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun
  • The Apprentice Series by James Bryan Smith
 
 

Missional Environments

We are transformed when we give ourselves away for the sake of others
Colossians 3:17Ephesians 4:11-16

Many think spiritual formation is about feeding our souls for the sake of well-being. On the contrary, it is intensely practical. The fuller life in Christ comes not only as we give attention to our own growth, but largely as we give ourselves away. As we align ourselves with the person and work of Christ - in becoming his disciples - our actions naturally flow out of hearts like his in demonstration of the love that has shaped us. In fact, Christ is not fully formed in us until it finds its greatest expression in love and sacrificial service for others. Compassionate acts come out of hearts of compassion. Acts of compassion cannot just be programs that come and go, they must become the stuff of our everyday lives as God's people on mission.

 

Our faith must become an embodied faith, where our witness to the world is based more on the weight of our actions than the strength of our arguments. We are not elected for privilege, but for service; to live not as exclusive beneficiaries of God's saving work, but as bearers of this grace to the rest of the world.

Missional Environments Description

For more information on missional environments, read this document.

Missional Environments Sermon

For more information on missional environments, listen to this sermon.

Sermon on Tithing

Tithing is giving a portion (10%) of our income and testifies to the reality that all we have comes from God. It serves as an expression that all our resources, time, talents, and treasures are at God's disposal. Listen to this sermon on tithing.

Ten Reasons to Tithe

Read what the Bible says about tithing to learn ten reasons you should tithe and the various ways you can give at Faith.

Give Generously

Put into practice what you've learned about tithing and give generously, supporting the mission of Faith.

Serve in Ministry

Making a regular commitment to serve is a crucial part of the development of a Christlike heart and life. Our many ministries at Faith provide a springboard for involvement at any level. Whether you want to welcome guests, serve on a missions trip, work with kids, or simply pray for someone, you can find a place to do so. Contact the church office for service opportunities.

Ministry Leadership

Use your gifts and talents to serve in leadership on a ministry team.

 

Serve Our Community

If you're looking to make a positive difference in the world, you're in good company at Faith! Join us as we put our faith into action and live out our belief in God's giving love through serving others in various ways. For a list of local non-profit ministries Faith supports and where you can find a place to serve, click here.

 
  • Contact the church office about service opportunities
  • Participate in Faith Does!, a service day to our community
  • Participate in Faith's Big Give, a community outreach held each December
  • Participate in Royal Family Kids Camp, and minister to children in the local foster care system
  • Participate in our Simple Justice ministry and learn about human trafficking here and throughout the world

Your Flourishing is for the Nations

The healing, redemption, and grace we have received is not just for ourselves, but that we might be bearers of this same grace to a hurt and desperate world. 

Give to Missions

Support Faith's missions efforts financially. The biblical understanding of offerings is viewed as giving above the tithe. Both tithing and giving offerings are aspects of the larger call to stewardship and they are one of God's most important training exercises for shaping our hearts and participating in the work of the kingdom.

Missions Leadership

Serve on the missions leadership team. Contact Lawrence Curtis for information.

Short-Term Missions

Not many things are more life-changing than going on a short-term missions trip.

 
 

Experiential Environments

We are transformed through encounters with Jesus that mark us forever
Colossians 1:27

While the process of spiritual formation is lifelong, there are moments and places of encounter with Jesus that transform us. Whether it's in corporate worship, on a mountaintop, a majestic cathedral, an ongoing personal trial, or unexplained suffering, there are moments of encounter with the divine that defy explanation and yet mark us...and we are never the same again.

Experiential Environments Description

For more information on experiential environments, read this document.

Experiential Environments Sermon

For more information on experiential environments, listen to this sermon.

 

Holy Spirit Baptism

Pray to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Read this document to find out more.

 

Communion

Celebrate communion, also called the Lord's Supper.  It is offered once month in our morning worship services.

Daily Prayer at Church

Join in the daily prayer time at Faith at 5:00am and 9:00am in the multipurpose room.

Personal Retreat

Go on a personal guided retreat (link coming soon).