This six-part study introduces participants to foundational spiritual practices. It is structured to cultivate Christian covenant community, encouraging participants to build relationships with one another as they deepen their relationship with God. The introduction encourages participants to view discipleship as a lifelong journey, not merely a static set of beliefs. Using the journey of Abraham as an example, it provides an opportunity for participants to outline significant "stops" along their life's journey. The five practices include Scripture, prayer, generosity, evangelism (or witness), and service. In the Scripture session, participants read covenants from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as relational documents that deepen our understanding of the relationship God desires with us. The prayer session outlines types of prayer, discusses obstacles to prayer, and introduces classic prayer forms. The generosity session highlights an ancient understanding of grace, encouraging participants to understand giving as an expression of their trust in God. The evangelism session encourages participants to view their lives as compelling narrative and provides a structure for crafting their spiritual autobiography. The final session, service, considers our role within the church and the world, providing a process for discernment by evaluating skills and passions in light of the needs around us.
About the Author
Tracey D. Leslie is a United Methodist clergywoman and a certified spiritual director. Over her twenty-five years in ministry, she has served churches of varying sizes in associate and senior pastor roles, including a focus on discipleship. She received her MDiv from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and certification as a spiritual director through Benedict Inn in Beech Grove, IN. She has also been a spiritual formation facilitator at United Theological Seminary.