Before he left, Jesus laid out his vision for the future. He commissioned his disciples to make more disciples by training them to obey everything he commanded. The training these disciples received was more than sermons, lectures and college classes. It was life-on-life, multi-generational discipleship that would take over the world. Today, few people receive that kind of training. Many sit in pews, some experience small groups and a few receive training like the kind Jesus gave his disciples.
Training in Belief
The challenge with Christianity as we know it today isn’t really an issue of knowledge. Rather, our actions demonstrate we do not actually believe much of what we claim to know. Most Christians have heard thousands of sermons, podcasts, books and the like, yet the lack of follow-through by walking in faith is staggering. “Believing but not doing” is foreign to the Bible and to Jesus. Today we are taught knowledge is power. Jesus taught that power is in belief.
What Is Story-Formed Life?
Story-Formed Life is an intensive, foundational, interactive, reproducible 11-week discipleship training process. It is designed to expose and increase the level of faith participants have in God’s Story as revealed in the Bible, from Creation to Re-Creation. This is achieved by comparing what people know with what they believe. It is best done in a relational context with smaller groups of people, facilitated by a disciple maker who moves the group to challenge and encourage one another.
Everyone is formed by a story. The western story, a.k.a. The American Dream, is often the only story we’re very familiar with. Cultural context, after all, is the water we all swim in. We frequently do not realize how deeply these roots have sunk into our minds and hearts or the way this story motivates our lives. For someone to really change the course of their life, their meta-narrative (or STORY) needs to change. The Bible presents a completely different story from the one we were trained to believe. SFL takes you through the one true Story (God’s Story), one stage at a time. This helps you shift your narrative away from the cultural norm to one that is radically life-altering.
SFL is designed to expose the self-focused stories we live in and invite us to enter into an epic story in which God himself is the central character. Increasing our faith in God’s Story is the only path to sustainable transformation.
Story-Formed Life Is Just Scripture
SFL is not a curriculum-based Bible study. It uses Scripture only. It employs Midrash, a Hebrew learning style that means “to investigate” as a group. It’s the way Scripture was meant to be interpreted—in the context of community, through the working of the Spirit. Rather than being leader-led, it is more of a group discovery process that is both challenging and encouraging. Midrash does not validate everyone’s opinion. Just the opposite: We want to create an atmosphere where we study the passage together and arrive at a Spirit-led group consensus, all the while pushing back on opinions that don’t line up with the text.
SFL Discipleship Strategy
We believe you need to start with a solid foundation. The Story-Formed Life tool is not intended to encompass all that is involved in discipleship. Rather, it’s intended to be foundational—a good starting point for a life of discipleship. Paul says, “By the grace God has given me, I Iaid a foundation as a wise builder and someone else is building on it.” (1 Cor 3:10) Our goal is simply to provide disciple makers with an apostolic, foundational discipleship tool upon which they and others can build. If you are interested in the larger scope of disciple-making strategies, please contact us. We would love to hear what you are doing and discuss other disciple-making tools we’ve discovered along the way.
Other Details about Story-formed Life
SFL is not connected to or associated with any Christian sect, faction or denomination. We invite and encourage testing, criticism, rebuke and exhortation from anyone who confesses Jesus Christ as King. For more information on SFL, take a look at the FAQ page.