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We have spoken before about what Andy Stanley calls the “Principle of the Path”. This essentially says that direction not intention determine destination. No matter how much you intend to travel to London from Milton Keynes, if you head north on the M1, you won’t get there. 

In a church context this can sometimes play out in a disconnect between what we hope will happen as a result of our life together, and what actually happens as a result of our rhythms. 

In response to this we have purposefully built some practices and some styles of gathering at St Marks which I hope means we actually do grow as disciples rather than just intend to!

TOGETHER

There is an African proverb that says “ if you want to go fast, travel alone. If you want to go far, travel together”

Let’s be honest. Family is messy. It is much easier and more convenient to do the things, eat the things, visit the things and think the things that we each already love. On our own timetable. 

BUT

Travelling in community. Spending time round tables, hearing about families and ambitions, sharing joys and sorrows and slowing enough to make sure that everyone can keep up is vital to who we are. 

This term you will notice that the diary is heavy on togetherness. It is for the benefit of everyone and the village is so much more beautiful when it includes you!

CORE

Just as core strength and stability is useful to standing up, so a strong core at the heart of your relationship with God is vital. If we each live vicariously off the faith of an other (a parent, spouse, vicar etc) then we never experience the deep joy of a vibrant and sustaining relationship with Christ. 

The good news is that you don’t need training or expensive equipment in order to develop your core. The bad news is that the ball is totally in your court, and the effort involved can sometimes feel unrewarded. 

Persistence and perseverance is the key. 

There are some resources available to help you develop a strong core. Prayer, Bible study, time outside and rest are all great ways of doing this. There will be more resources released throughout the year too, but also a key component is time. You can’t rush this stuff. It takes time and disciplined ordering of priorities. So we have built into the diary some deliberate time for this. Use it however you want to…the time is a gift, it’s up to you how you use it!

CARSHARE

A carshare is a frame of mind, a practice of friendship…it is not a group! 

To carshare with someone is to journey with them, to talk with them and listen to them. It is to share the mundanity of normal life and the depth of human experience, to challenge each other when needed, comfort each other when required and care for each other constantly. 

The people you travel with might be St Marks regulars, they might not. You might already have long term friends who fit this description. It might be that beginning to form relationships like these starts from this point. Either way, every single mature disciple I know, who has developed a faith which lasts through trial and is meaningful to them, has fellow travellers. 

Internal resistance to vulnerability and proximity will always whisper to each of us that this carshare practice is not of much worth. Resist the whisper!