Some may think it is strange that such practices, the disciplines for life in the Spirit, are all bodily behaviors. But it cannot be otherwise. Learning Christ-likeness is not passive. It is active engagement with and in God. And we act with our bodies. Moreover, this bodily engagement is what lays the foundation in our bodily members for readiness for holiness, and increasingly removes the readiness to sin… – pg 89-90
What I’m about to say certainly isn’t original and it isn’t overly profound, so hopefully it can at least serve as a reminder to those of us who serve in leadership positions in a church. If, as Willard describes above, being Christ-like is not passive, then how come so many of our methods to create Christ-like people are? I love to think and ponder as much as anyone, but the best way to facilitate an active engagement with God in the life of a community of people is not to let the passively receive while we talk about it. We must also be developers of a culture where opportunities are give to engage in a life of Christ-likeness.
Since this blog is geared to be a group discussion, perhaps we can do that here. What are effective ways you have seen active engagement with God facilitated through a church community? I’ll start with an easy one. In the decade I did student ministry, I saw far more growth through counter cultural experiences than anything else because they are so fully engaging. And to take that even further, with Willard’s thoughts in mind, it seems like the most beneficial experieinces were the ones that provided the most rigorous activity.
I’d love to hear what the experiences of others have been in developing opportunities for people to engage in a life of Christ-likeness. And somebody remind me of this once a month so I can weigh how well I am doing it!