Reading about the promise is one thing; claiming it is another. To claim it, we have to do some work and make space to pay attention, turn from old habits to new ones, change the way we think, choose etc. But it is worth it. We can begin to see the benefits of change at once and those benefits accumulate, moment by moment, day by day. We experience abundance as soon as we begin to focus on what it is, why it matters and how to go about creating it.
Exploring this material
This site contains eight sections, each building on those before it. Each section contains a story, prayers and affirmations. The material is designed to be used in different contexts, and can be reproduced for any non-commercial purpose.
Following this “core material,” are suggestions for exploring and using it in three ways:
Path 1. Personal Development.
- You can explore the core material as a way of developing your own personal confidence and creativity. If you do, your faith in God, in yourself and in others will be deepened; enriching your life of prayer and your understanding of the Gospel, and enhancing your impact on those around you.
- Following this path, you are invited to read, pray, reflect and take action. Reading and praying are good, but the real challenge is to apply the teaching to yourself in the written exercises, and then to take action.
- Reflection helps us prepare for change, but change only happens when we take action. This is why taking action is so important – and so often difficult.
- Don’t just imagine abundance. Claim it.
- If you take up this challenge, you will learn a lot about yourself in ways that will help you empower and equip others. If you take up this challenge, you will become more effective in whatever you do. But only if you take up the challenge to apply the lessons to yourself – and to act on them.
- What we read informs us. What we pray will form us. What we do transforms us.
The question is: Do you want to be healed? Do you believe that God wants you to enjoy abundance?
Path 2. Group Development.
- You can use the core material as a way of developing the life of a small group. Your ability to do this will be magnified if you have first worked through the whole course on your own. This is because we teach what we have internalised. Internalising a new way of thinking takes time, reflection and practice. Repetition reinforces what we are learning. Acting on it commits us to the new path. It makes the lesson specific, concrete and personal. When we speak and act in response to what we are learning, the lesson begins to change us. As we are changed, we begin to change others. We become part of a process of transformation. In the long term, there are no short-cuts.
- However, if you need to begin work with a group right away, it is not absolutely essential to complete the whole course in advance of your first meeting with them. You can make a start this week, this Sunday – or whenever you next get together.
- But please, at the very least, ensure that you build space for your own personal work into the time that you spend preparing the material for the group. This is not a matter of improving your presentation. The fact is that, unless you do this personal work, you will not understand what the lesson is teaching.
- There is also a practical issue in favour of taking a little longer to prepare and plan before leading this course with a group. Most of the suggested activities use items that will be easily available, but one requires the investment of some money. Say £10 per head. This activity is not really optional because in many ways it summarises and symbolises everything the course is about. If you want to run the course, you will need to consider how to fund this.
- Here are some options:
- hold a fund-raising event
- ask the church council to underwrite the course
- ask the congregation for donations
- ask a larger church, or the circuit, to help you with a grant or donations
- ask friends to invest in your group
- save up the money yourself by going without something else
- sell something of value in order to raise the cash
The question is: Do you want others to share in the abundance you have received?
Path 3. Renewing the Church
- You can use the core material as a way of developing the life of a congregation. Your ability to do this will be magnified if you have first worked through the whole course on your own and with a few others. This is because as more and more people become involved, the process becomes both more creative and more complex.
- You will not be able to control all its ramifications, but that does not matter.
- However, you will need the support of a few others who have also begun to internalise these lessons in order to follow through all the creative possibilities that will begin to emerge. And to support you in the practicalities. Working with a small group, you will also have support as the process of revitalisation awakens fear or encounters resistance. Working together, you will find it easier to keep your eye on the prize, and your feet on the road.
The question is: Do you want the Church to become a place of abundance for all?
Offer model prayers and suggestions for praying our way through this.
designed to “feed” Christians, especially those in leadership roles, through their personal reflection, Bible study and prayer, so that they are encouraged and equipped for the work they do or the role they fulfil. Although the book is designed for personal use, it contains a lot of material (creative writing, questions, meditations etc.) which could be used or adapted for group work or corporate worship.