To be a disciple of Jesus is to follow closely in his footsteps. Reading scripture and attending worship are great ways to start the journey of discipleship, but should be done alongside other spiritual practices to become a follower with a deep and strong connection to God.
It can be difficult to know what to try next. If you’re a Christian who would like to deepen your faith study or who doesn’t have a church community in which to participate, the following practices will help you delve into scripture and strengthen your walk with Christ.
- Choose to create intentional pauses in your day for prayer, rather than using existing free time. If you feel more comfortable following along with a guided devotional for prayer, The Upper Room daily devotional is available for free online.
- Read along with a lectionary blog for an in-depth look at the Bible and questions to challenge your understanding. Our resident pastor likes In the Meantime, Left Behind and Loving It, and Crossmarks. Find more resources at textweek.com.
- Join or create a community for intentional faith-related sharing and accountability, even if it’s only 2 or 3 people. Sharing your faith triumphs and struggles with others and mutually supporting each other through life’s rough patches echo the practices of the early Church.
- Take advantage of online educational opportunities at sites like BeADisciple.com.
- Audit a course at a local seminary. For those with no seminary nearby, explore the “Courses” and “iTunes U Episodes” in the iTunes store, which come from seminaries and schools of all stripes and affiliations.
- Learn about different kinds of prayer and practice them throughout your week.
- Take a weekend or a one-day retreat. Check your area for spirituality centers and life centers that offer retreats.
Britt Bradley is a photographer, dreamer, and church nerd and serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications for the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College and BeADisciple.com.
Rev. Ben Hanne contributed to this post and is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church. He serves as the Campus Minister of Southwestern College in Winfield, KS.