Christ Habits Collection – Real Change for Real People

If you’re a visual learner, good news! You can see where our small group studies and resources fit within the Stages of Faith.

As you can see, after Spirit’s Fruit we recommend you pick up the Christ Habits collection.

Christ Habits looks at perhaps the most crucial question for any Christ-follower: how can I open my life as fully as possible to the transforming grace of God, and so be ever more shaped into the likeness of Jesus? God has a deep desire to form us into the image of Christ–and as he does, so we find ourselves less and less thirsty for sin, and at the same time more able than ever to experience His love.

We are saved by grace, and we are remade by grace; there is nothing we can do to make ourselves more Christ-like. But we can learn from Christ how to order our lives so that rather than sipping grace cautiously from a teacup, we can drink deeply from it’s soul-refreshing stream.

There are nine books in this collection, and we suggest you use them in the following order:

  1. God’s Workmanship: Growing in Christ
  2. Listening Together: Gaining Spiritual Direction
  3. Confession: Experiencing God’s Grace
  4. Scripture Speaks: Beyond Reading
  5. Prayer: Listening to God’s Voice
  6. Worship: Beyond the Sunday Service
  7. Community: Inviting Relationship
  8. Simplicity and Sacrifice: Embracing More with Less
  9. Balanced Discipleship: Covering All the Angles

As a participant, you will:

  • Experience life change, even if in only a small way, from experiencing over forty different Christ habits (spiritual disciplines).
  • Discover some Christ habits that you would like to make a regular part of your life.

”My life is lived out in the tension between longing and reality. The longing of my heart is to be drawn ever deeper into intimacy with God: to increasingly celebrate his sacred presence in my everyday world. But the reality of my life is that my disordered character–the desires and drives, vices and behaviors form the root of my brokenness–drag me in the opposite direction, alienating me from God. My appetite for God and my appetite for sin are in violent and destructive conflict. If you share that tension, the may be about to take you on the the most important journey of your life. These are practical books. The disciplines and practices described here by Ascending Leaders have the potential to change our lives, our churches, and our communities–but only if we are prepared to live them, rather than simply discuss them.”

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Where does Spirit’s Fruit fit in?

The Spirit’s Fruit collection was the second set of books Ascending Leaders published for small group use, after Christ Habits, but we recommend you start with these as soon as you’ve gone through Your Pathways and before you dive into the spiritual disciplines found in Christ Habits.

There are nine books in this collection, and we suggest you use them in the following order:

  1. Fruitful Living
  2. Thriving Love
  3. Giving Forgiveness
  4. Living Joy
  5. Practicing Peace
  6. Choosing Patience (Gentleness and Humility)
  7. Nurturing Goodness (Kindness, Generosity and Compassion)
  8. Fulfilling Faithfulness
  9. Satisfying Self-Control

Each book has six sessions for your small group. In general, each session is divided into three unique learning experiences.

  1. Personal preparation: Each participant should read the session material and do the short exercise at the end of the reading. If you are ever short on time, you will be better served if you skim the reading and do the exercise, than if you skip the experience of the exercise.
  2. Small-group discussion: The group discussion questions follow the exercise page for each session. You are NOT expected to have answers for these questions before you meet. Join in the discussion and share your thoughts and insights.
  3.  Hiking Partners: The last question on the group discussion page can be most effective in smaller sub-groups of 3-4 people, which we call “hiking partners.” This is a time to step out and apply the principles from the session. If it is feasible to keep the same “hiking partners” each week, the encouragement experience is even stronger.

Our desire is that this is not simply a learning experience, but an opportunity for the Spirit of God to work in our hearts to make our natural behaviors be more like Jesus.

Becoming like Jesus is what the Christian walk is all about. And becoming like Jesus requires us to change how we live, think, talk and love. And this is where the Spirit’s Fruit collection is so meaningful: It challenges us to not only discover the truth about who we really are, but it takes us on a “journey of sanctification.” It helps us cultivate the Spirit’s fruit in every part of our being. It is my privilege, therefore, to commend this resource to all readers.

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Once you’ve completed the Spirit’s Fruit studies, you’ll be ready for Christ Habits! Stay tuned for more information next week…

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