Outfitting Authentic Disciples for the Climb of their Life
You have made known to me the path of life. (Psalm 16:11)
So here’s what we’ve come up with so far! It seems to us that on our faith journey, our discipleship pathway, we blaze a trail of faith through five dynamic stages…
Mountain of Faith — a discipleship pathway
We blaze a trail of faith through five dynamic stages, moving through them (and returning to them) throughout the many different times in our lives…
SEEKER – We awaken or return to God; we may be new to religion or returning after an absence. We are curious, wary, a bit unsure, yet we are interested in security and warmth – a place around the campfire. This is an exciting first step, and it is why Gensis strives to be a warm and open environment.
EXPLORER – Next comes a time of checking things out more closely, a very important weighing of our own needs and wants against the community’s and God’s. Genesis may not be for everyone (sad to say, but we have to admit it). Still, we believe true faith includes this vital (and sometimes volatile!) piece of questioning, weighing, and testing belief for ourselves.
CAMPER – Now this is where it gets interesting, because most people think of this stage as the end goal! It is indeed a stage for celebration as we are willing to accept the community, trust in Scripture, and let personal needs become part of a larger picture. Lordship is an important word here – in which disciples start serving and sacrificing for others – but a tent is not a permanent dwelling place. Although the camp can become safe and comfortable, a certain stuckness can happen as we decide with others that we want to keep things as they are.
(CAUTION: CONTINUE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!)
FREECLIMBER – Here, for reasons of crisis, trauma, or confusion, we may cast aside the ropes, clips, and gear in order go climbing on our own. Severe doubt may lead to unconventional belief, or an outright divorce from faith altogether. One way the church fails people time and again is around issues of grief, despair, and rediscovery of our self and our existence — too many incomplete or inadequate responses to such questioning. Ask many a spiritual pilgrim why they left organized religion and you’ll hear tales of woe and doubt, but sometimes also tales of great spiritual insight and growth! How can this be?
Something that we believe makes Genesis UNIQUE: We celebrate and teach that spiritual maturity sometimes reaches beyond traditional religion, beyond what is easy to label. A freeclimber is a risk taker, not afraid to try and fail, but there is also risk of injury and risk of getting lost during this stage. Therefore, Freeclimber is also NOT a stage for stopping, or a place to remain hanging. There is more to discover and more to share within a community of faith! (If this odd paragraph has piqued your interest you really should come and visit Genesis.)
SHERPA/GUIDE – On the mountain of life we meet some folks who have discovered God’s grace beyond what we typically find. These mentors of ours seem to appreciate Christian faith without needing to disparage or criticize. They are hard to label and mysterious in some ways as they breathe the rarified air of the very near presence of Christ. They have a peace, wisdom, and vision that is panoramic; we feel lucky to know them and we continually seek ways to include them in our own journey.
We know there may be more steps than five along the path, but we are finding these stages of faith-travel to be very instructive and helpful.
Come trek with us for a while…