in the midst of the forgotten ways alan hirsch argues that the church would be more effective at developing committed disciples and transformational leaders if christians encouraged one another to "act our way into a new way of thinking" rather than trying to "think our way into a new way of acting."*
as one who has long tried, and often failed, to think my way into a new way of acting, i found hirsch's suggestion intriguing. i have long thought that i learned more about pastoral ministry by serving the core members of l'arche and have connected with God much more naturally when i have intentionally entered into silence and set aside the prefabricated, a.c.t.s.** model of prayer.
if christian leaders were to follow hirsch's suggestion by seeking to shape Christ followers more in the context of action than a context of abstraction,*** we would need to constantly encourage experiences, practices and settings that would empower young believers who are seeking to effectively love God, love people and contribute to their communities.
so i'm wondering, what experiences, practices and/or settings have helped you learn how to love God and/or other people more passionately and proficiently?****
please take a moment to help this brother out. if i'm ever going to exchange a ministry of abstraction for one of applied wisdom, i'm going to need your help!
* emphasis his. pg. 122.
** for the (fortunately) uninitiated, a.c.t.s. is an acrostic that reminds young prayer warriors to adore God, confess sin, thank God before inserting one's supplications into God's sanctified in-bow.
*** read: classroom.
**** please note: i do not for one moment think that Christ followers have cornered the market on love. people of all, and no, religions are more than welcome to contribute to the conversation.