Followers of the Way

ancient discipleship for modern Christians

Simon Reed

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Content

One of the most pressing issues in today's church is encouraging people to become true and effective disciples of Jesus Christ.

If, in simple terms, discipleship is about connecting more deeply with God and connecting God with the whole of life, Simon Reed argues, we're looking at a lifelong process for which we require long-term skills rather than short-term courses. The Celtic and Desert Christians, drawing on Old and New Testament practices, taught and modelled how to do this through the practice of living by a Way of Life. By drawing together today's need for disciples and Celtic Christianity, Followers of the Way inspires authentic Christian discipleship for the contemporary world.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is discipleship and why does it matter?
  • The way to be a disciple
  • Waymark 1: Be a lifelong learner
  • Waymark 2: Journey with a Soul Friend
  • Waymark 3: Keep a rhythm of prayer, work and recreation
  • Waymark 4: Live as simply as possible
  • Waymark 5: Celebrate and care for creation
  • Waymark 6: Heal whatever is broken
  • Waymark 7: Be open to the Holy Spirit and listen
  • Waymark 8: Pray for good to overcome evil
  • Waymark 9: Pursue unity
  • Waymark 10: Share Jesus and justice
  • Three life-giving principles
  • Getting started
  • Conclusion

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Author info

Simon Reed is an Anglican minister with two churches in Ealing, West London. He is also one of the three Guardians of the Community of Aidan and Hilda, an international and cross-denominational network of Christians who draw inspiration from the Celtic saints for the renewal of today's church. He has written regularly for Scripture Union's Closer to God Bible Notes for over ten years. Recently he contributed a chapter to Ray Simpson's book High Street Monasteries, giving a biblical perspective on this insightful introduction to contemporary 'new monasticism'. He has been a seminar speaker at Spring Harvest and been involved in leading their reflective worship stream.

Reviews

Review by Stephen Skuce

This is a great wee book. Simon Reed is an Anglican minister in London who has attempted something that most avoid. He attempts to help his two congregations live out their lives along Celtic Christian principles, or at least a contemporary version of what might have been some of the emphases of our predecessors. For many, Celtic Christianity is something that works for them as an individual, but given the community focus of Celts and most primal peoples, this sort of defeats the purpose. His earlier book Creating Community tells that story.

In Followers of the Way Reed outlines what it means to be a follower of Jesus and what the key aspects of this life are to be. In many ways much of this is fairly straightforward and part of what is a mainstream Christian understanding. But the Celtic themes shine through. Chapters remind us of our need to care for creation, live simply, share Jesus and justice, journey with a soul friend, find an appropriate rhythm of work, prayer and rest, and to be a lifelong learner.

Written in such a straightforward way, this book could very usefully be given to a new Christian to help them understand what being a disciple is all about. It's not a programme to be followed but a way of life to be lived. It will, at best, enable any of us to understand core principles of our life and how we are different to many of those who don't follow Jesus.

It's very realistic in that it doesn't pitch our discipleship in a way that a saint would struggle to emulate. Rather it enables the reader to see this way of life as ordinary, attainable, attractive and Christ-like. Reed avoids numerous historical diversions and maintains a rootedness in the 21st century. Part of the great contribution I think Reed brings is to enable busy contemporary Christian people to discover a more authentically Christian way of life for themselves as individuals and as a gathered community.

Reed doesn't try and claim vast success. Rather the impact on individuals and congregations is a work in progress. And perhaps that is as it should be. As disciples we should be progressing to be more Christ-like; literally a work in progress. This is a fine, short, readable book that will help us to better understand how to follow Jesus, and that resonates with our heritage.

Revd Dr Stephen Skuce

Director of Scholarship, Research and Innovation, the British Methodist Church

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857465382
  • Published: 22 September 2017
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
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