Spirituality, discipleship, and evangelism are three critical, timeless disciplines used by the church to transform faith communities from followers to disciples and then to effective faith practitioners. It is not always easy to cultivate these disciplines, but as an empowered faith practitioner and doer of the Word, each of us can learn how to be revitalized and transformed.
The Spiritual Order of a Messy Church is written for both laypeople and clergy who are intentionally pursuing personal and spiritual growth by using historic, grounded themes practiced by the early church—spirituality, discipleship, and evangelism. Author Santosh K. Marray describes the correlation between Acts 2:42–47 (the classical model of the early church for spirituality, discipleship, and evangelism) and the affirmations embodied in the baptismal covenant. He describes how both laypersons and clergy can develop a personal spiritual order to govern their lives and translate that spiritual structure to the congregations they may be leading and with whom they worship.
In this challenging period where church growth is in decline, especially in mainline churches, The Spiritual Order of a Messy Church advocates a more robust spiritual engagement undergirded by a rule of order. Spirituality, appropriately defined as “formed for Christ,” could be achieved through the user-friendly approach advocated here. The message of Jesus is that the authentic Christian is one who practices what she or he believes.