Spiritual Rhythms in Community
Jesus had rhythm. His regular patterns of withdrawing from life to have intimate time with his Father and then embracing and entering into rich relationships with others allowed him to carry out his enormous mission with wisdom, grace and authentic love.
In the midst of busy, full lives, with demands for our time and attention coming from every direction, we need rhythm--life-giving patterns in our days and weeks that deepen our connection with God and strengthen our relationships with others.
Jesus' rhythm can be yours with this participatory guide to growth in God and mission in the context of community. "We learn from Jesus' example," Keith Meyer writes, "that spiritual disciplines are best done in some degree or expression of community where they are experienced and reflected on together. . . . We [also] learn from Jesus that the disciplines are to work as a baseline for a life rhythm of formation and community and result in a powerful mission that begins to sweep others into the ever growing number of those in the dance of the trinitarian life."
In light of Jesus' model, then, Meyer helps you intentionally adopt a new pattern for our life, one that facilitates ongoing growth and transformation, through
Together with a small group or a staff team, your family or your friends, find your rhythm in the life of the One who came that we might have life to the full.
"Keith Meyer is on a journey with Jesus--in the local congregation, in the scholastic academy, in the self-employment business--in short, in the real world. Spiritual Rhythms in Community is a worthwhile and important post from his road, reminding us of the disciplines for personal formation and introducing us to relational practices that we need. It is a commendable guide for the journey inward and the journey outward, personally and in community."
"Spiritual Rhythms in Community provides profound yet tender and accessible guidance on how to live our life with God. It gives us a vivid presentation of Jesus as one who led a rich life of ordered practices and who led his immediate followers into those practices. For those who trust him, he is the door into a life of grace framed by disciplines. There his promises are fulfilled: our day-to-day life becomes a safe and abundant place to dwell. The guidance given is received from the author's experiences in such a life and from his work with many others under his instruction. That makes it realistic. The use of Scripture (especially the Psalms) that he encourages is beautiful and powerful."
"With the humble heart of a pastoral storyteller, Keith mentors us in the beautiful ways of quiet contemplation and social engagement."
"Spiritual rhythms are meant to bring us into fresher and deeper experiences of God, community and mission, yet in our busy world with so many distractions we often fail to make these connections. In this important book, Keith Meyer explores the rhythms of prayer and solitude that are at the core of a deeper faith. I heartily recommend it to all who are seeking greater intimacy with God."
"I consider Keith Meyer to be a wonderful friend. I also consider him to be a rare combination of megachurch pastor, spiritual pilgrim and engaging communicator. So it is no surprise that I think his latest book, Spiritual Rhythms in Community, is his best yet. What a wonderful job of placing the Christian disciplines in the context of community."
"Keith Meyer is a visionary practitioner of the things about which he writes. Since I first met him, in every setting in which he serves, this vision has been the abiding energy of his life and ministry. In his book, you'll learn from one who has gone there himself."
"Meyer makes the ancient and deeply formative ways of the early church present and possible for us today. Full of stories and examples from real life, Spiritual Rhythms in Community translates the often burdensome courses of ordinary existence into both the times and the means for spiritual growth and rich Christian experience."
"Juggling the pressures of culture, technology, media, work and family is something few of us can do alone or by accident. We need intentionality and a guide. Keith Meyer's Spiritual Rhythms in Community offers tools for ordering the 'to-dos' of life with your hunger for God. It's practical, down to earth, personal and engaging."
"In Spiritual Rhythms in Community, Keith Meyer offers us a critical insight not found anywhere else: spiritual disciplines are not only supposed to help us become more Christlike but they are best done in community and are to send us forth on mission. Meyer puts flesh and bones on this threefold insight with the practical exercises he offers. Anyone on the spiritual journey would be wise to have this guidebook in their backpack!"
"Needed help for a culture out of rhythm with its soul. Sometimes we must move fast, Keith shows us how to do so from a satisfied soul."
"In Spiritual Rhythms in Community, Keith Meyer deftly invites us on the inward journey in gentle and courageous ways, then turns us around and sends us back out into the world in unforced rhythms of grace."
Prelude: Going to a Place Where You Can Be Found
Introduction: The Trinitarian Two-Step
Part One: The Rhythms of Disengagement
The Father's Good Shepherding: Psalm 23
1. Getting Alone to Be with the Father
Finding Our Rhythm: A Day with Jesus in Luke's Gospel
Sacred Space and Time: Psalm 84
2. Creating a Retreat Center of the Heart
Finding Our Rhythm: Storm on the Sea Icon
Wilderness Living: Psalm 63
3. Encountering the Ancient Desert and Postmodern Wild
Finding Our Rhythm: Watching Into the Wild
Divine Constant Contact: Psalm 139
4. Going Off-Line
Finding Our Rhythm: Praying Your Day
Soul Shushing: Psalm 131
5. Wasting Time Just Being
Finding Our Rhythm: Taking a Day to Do Nothing
Sounds of Silence: Psalm 65
6. Entering into Quiet
Finding Our Rhythm: Watching Into Great Silence
Part Two: The Dance of Engagement
Life Together: Psalm 133
7. Writing On Each Other's Hearts
Finding Our Rhythm: Taking an Intercessory Prayer Flight
Night and Day: Psalms 4--5
8. Using Earthly Attachments for a Fix on Eternity
Finding Our Rhythm: Praying Seven Lord's Prayers a Day
A Clean Record: Psalm 130
9. Asking Forgiveness of Another
Finding Our Rhythm: Ninth-Step Work "Examination and Amends"
Seeing Widows and Orphans: Psalm 68
10. Going to Be with the Poor
Finding Our Rhythm: A Day in Criminal Court or a Food Ministry
Enjoying God?s Good Life: Psalms 111--112
11. Using a Weakness to Cultivate a Strength
Finding Our Rhythm: Taking a Virtue Walk
Safe Journey Home: Psalm 121
12. Making Our Life a Pilgrimage to Heaven
Finding Our Rhythm: Pilgrimage with a Saint
Conclusion: Staying in a Place Where You Can Be Found
A Guide for Groups
About the Author