Resonance Learning Guides

For a Better Worldliness | Resources Cultivating Whole-Life Discipleship

For a Better Worldliness is a collection of resources designed to supplement and enhance reader engagement with the content of Resonance. Our goal is for readers to explore each themed issue of the journal for implications of whole-life discipleship. We believe discipleship is cultivated in communities of intentional learning, so our Learning Guides are best utilized in small group or community settings. If completed individually, we encourage you to share your learnings with at least one dialogue partner.

What is Discipleship?

Christ calls us to engage the world with his redemptive and transformational hope. Even when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges in today’s society, there is an overarching hope and purpose for God’s work in and for the world. As such, For a Better Worldliness aims to redeem a holistic understanding and practice of discipleship that is for the common good of us all. Specifically, we seek to understand and practice discipleship as the response to the call to follow-after Jesus Christ in all aspects of human life and endeavor – from the inner personal disciplines to the deliberate shaping of culture, in the very midst of the world.

Why ‘Worldliness’?

We believe that Jesus Christ came to live in the midst of this world in order to bring about its redemption. Christian discipleship is experienced in the fullness of this life – in its joy, sorrow, pain, triumph, and tragedy. We seek to live as Christ lived – and that means doing a better job of embracing the worldliness that is redeemed through God’s ultimate  purposes. “Worldliness” reminds us of our call to engage the world on its own terms – knowing that the transformative power of God’s Spirit is at work among us all.

“By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In doing so, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world — watching with Christ in Gethsemane.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

How To Use These Learning Guides

Learning is an act of discipleship. God has created us to learn and grow not just through acquiring knowledge, but by connecting that knowledge to our own lived experiences. In other words, our faith becomes real when it is acted upon in our everyday lives; and as we act upon that faith, our knowledge and conviction deepens and grows.

The exercises in the Learning Guide are best completed in a small group, where dialogue, questions, and stories can flow in a respectful and safe environment. Consider appointing a facilitator to guide the conversation in a timely manner and to ensure that the discussion remains relevant to people’s experiences, includes everyone and their diverse viewpoints, and challenges people to engage their knowledge by finding an immediate context to apply their learning.

Finally, remember that the questions and activities in the Learning Guide are also designed to cultivate discipleship for a better worldliness. This means you may be challenged to consider both a deeper and broader practical understanding of your own following-after Jesus Christ – one that spans all aspects of your life, from the inner personal disciplines to your engagement with the world around you. Our hope is that you and your community will grow in faith that seeks understanding, through practice, for the good of God’s work in the world.