Celebration Of Discipline - The Path To Spiritual Growth

I have the honor and privilege of leading a small group titled “Inter-generational Coed Small Group” at my church. January 27, 2019 was the first meeting.

I pray that you will join us via this website to study the book “Celebration of Discipline – The Path To Spiritual Growth.

At the first meeting, as I looked around at the eager faces, I felt humbled that God has laid it upon my heart to lead this group.

The group is multi-cultural, international and inter-generational. We had a couple that brought along their twins who played chess quietly in the background.

I could not help but be reminded of the song that I learned in kindergarten:

“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.”

Below is a summary of our first meeting held last Sunday.

1. Ice breaker questions:
Members of the group were asked to select and answer one of the following questions:

What is the one thing you are passionate about?
What is the one thing you like to do when you have free time?
What has been a recent high point and low point in your life?
When was a time when someone showed you deep compassion/love like Jesus?
What is something important a grandparent or older mentor taught you?

Answers to the above question gave insight to our group members’ background and passion.

2. Best way to study each chapter:

The members of the small group have full time jobs. I was sensitive to their time availability to read the book before the meeting or read the book at the meeting.

We agreed that we would read and study 10 pages at home to prepare for each meeting. Based on the time frame we have, members agreed that we would study the book over 2 semesters so that we could go in depth instead of skimming through the chapters to finish the book by April, the end of the semester.

3. Expectations of the study group
Members want to learn the know-how for a closer walk with our Lord.

4. Rotation of members to lead discussion.
I truly believe that small group is an excellent way to train future small group leaders and I would be assigning members to lead discussion during the meeting.

5. Book discussion:

We discussed the Introduction of “Celebrations of Discipline – The Path To Spiritual Growth. In the introduction, Richard Foster, the author wrote the following:

His journey, as a young, fresh faced pastor, experiencing spiritual bankruptcy, the influences that shaped his ministry, the catalysts that planted the seed for him to write the Book, and the divine encounters that made this Book possible.

If we expect to enter wholeheartedly into the experience of the Spiritual Disciplines, we must understand that these Spiritual Disciplines open us to the Good Life.

What is the Good Life? The Good Life consists of Provision, Place, Personality, The Failure of Law and Ritual.

1. Provision means all things necessary to carry on human life adequately. God intends us that we should have enough to care for ourselves.

2. Place is a mutually understood set of personal relationships that give identity to one’s life. Place is more a social function or position, a role in society not a location.

3. Personality is the inward person or ingrained and acquired habits that tend to defeat us over and over again.

There is power from God that enters our life and transforms the habit patterns. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. According with the Scriptures, we are instructed on how the flesh can be brought into a working harmony with the spirit in obedience to the ways of God and in the context of our modern life. It involves a voluntary accepted and consciously chosen course of action that includes individual and group life so that God can produce the needed change.

6. Prayer requests

7. Closing Prayer

8. Luncheon at Dominican Restaurant
Praise God that our small group brothers and sisters-in-Christ (9 of us) truly “clicked” on day one. Everyone was eager to contribute and participate. It was encouraging from the reaction and voices of the members that they were excited about this group and God will surely lead us step by step.

I pray that God has touched you through this book study. Ponder and reflect on the questions below and let me know your answers by posting in the comment section.

  • What is one thing you want to see change in your life as a result of this study?
  • What new promise can you take with you into the week?
  • What did you learn about God?