To influence the relational culture of the individual and the church, Life with God
is designed around three main objectives.
The first is to focus the curriculum around what the Bible teaches about relationships.
We believe deep heart change is initiated in our relationship with God through the power of the Word and the Spirit. Because the Bible teaches what it means to be reconciled into a relationship with God, each week Life with God
explores a biblical passage through a Scripture podcast and teaching podcast.
The Scripture podcast is a recording of the key verses for the week and gives participants the opportunity to listen to the Word of God several times as the week progresses.
The teaching podcast explores the relational theology of the passages and offers observations about how these Bible verses can influence our knowledge of God, of ourselves and our understanding of how God is inviting us into deeper and more authentic relationship with Him and others. You can see an overview of the scriptural passages covered over the course of the curriculum in the section, The Themes
The second design objective is to engage participants in experiential and reflective components that invite them into deeper relationship not only with God but with one another.
This is accomplished three ways.
- The first provides a weekly personal interactive project. These experiential assignments guide participants through a time of individual prayer and reflection on the biblical concepts. The projects invite participants to go beyond just knowing more "about" God, by opening their hearts to a life-changing encounter with Truth that lays their deep thoughts and intentions open before their eyes and God's eyes.
- The second provides a weekly group experience to allow for the sharing of personal stories, experiences and reflections as well as an opportunity to deepen healthy listening skills and truthful and loving communication in the body. Often those who claim to know Jesus are still hiding their true struggles and doubts from Him and the rest of His body. The community experience offers an opportunity to grow in the ability to honestly reveal one's heart to others, listen more attentively, lovingly and gracefully to others stories and to look for how God is always offering life -changing relationship.
- The third component provides a skilled leader for each group. Through spiritually mature and experienced leadership, participants will not need to "go it alone". Life with God community meetings are led by those who are trained by ECSW to facilitate and promote a safe environment in which participants can share deeply and honestly with each other, while they build better relationships with one another and God, and learn to look for and follow God's activity in their lives.
The goal of these components is to grow the individual and the group in their capacity to regularly attend to and recognize (discern) how God is working in their midst, how they are responding, and how they can encourage one another in the process.
The last design objective is to create lifetime habits within the life of the individual and the church.
Changing a relational culture takes time whether that culture resides within a person or a congregation. Life with God
honors the reality that new habits are formed over the long haul. It is 72 weeks (six 12 week semesters) of curriculum that invite participants on a lifelong journey. It is designed to stimulate the practice and over time deepen relational patterns with God, through the Spirit, and within their church community. It encourages participants to immerse themselves in the community of the church so that they become vital and growing members of the body of Christ.