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Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love

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Take a casual survey of how people practice their faith, and you might reasonably conclude that Jesus spent his life going door to door offering private lessons, complete with chalkboard and pop quizzes. We think about God in the comfort of our own minds, in isolation from one another; meanwhile the world waits for a people to practice the way of Jesus together. Mark Scand Take a casual survey of how people practice their faith, and you might reasonably conclude that Jesus spent his life going door to door offering private lessons, complete with chalkboard and pop quizzes. We think about God in the comfort of our own minds, in isolation from one another; meanwhile the world waits for a people to practice the way of Jesus together. Mark Scandrette contends that Jesus has in mind something more lively for us: not a classroom so much as a kingdom, where our formation takes place not only in our heads but in our hearts and our bodies, and in the company of one another, in a way that blesses the world we've been entrusted with. In Practicing the Way of Jesus Scandrette draws from his experience as a spiritual director and leader of an intentional community, as well as the best contemporary thinking on kingdom spirituality, to paint a picture of life lived together, in the way of Jesus--which is another way of saying life lived to the full.


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Take a casual survey of how people practice their faith, and you might reasonably conclude that Jesus spent his life going door to door offering private lessons, complete with chalkboard and pop quizzes. We think about God in the comfort of our own minds, in isolation from one another; meanwhile the world waits for a people to practice the way of Jesus together. Mark Scand Take a casual survey of how people practice their faith, and you might reasonably conclude that Jesus spent his life going door to door offering private lessons, complete with chalkboard and pop quizzes. We think about God in the comfort of our own minds, in isolation from one another; meanwhile the world waits for a people to practice the way of Jesus together. Mark Scandrette contends that Jesus has in mind something more lively for us: not a classroom so much as a kingdom, where our formation takes place not only in our heads but in our hearts and our bodies, and in the company of one another, in a way that blesses the world we've been entrusted with. In Practicing the Way of Jesus Scandrette draws from his experience as a spiritual director and leader of an intentional community, as well as the best contemporary thinking on kingdom spirituality, to paint a picture of life lived together, in the way of Jesus--which is another way of saying life lived to the full.

30 review for Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maxwell

    This was a very practical (duh) and interesting look into putting faith into action. I found it applicable and motivational for my own life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    I've read this book twice now and am now working through it again with two friends of mine. This is a marvellous book that helps all of us to better understand how we can introduce practices in our life that are more Jesus-focused and less me-focused. I've been fortunate to meet Mark and be taught by him on some of the elements of his book. What was particularly pleasing for me having spent some time with Mark I realised he was just like you and me, he was no Mother Teresa, he grapples with livin I've read this book twice now and am now working through it again with two friends of mine. This is a marvellous book that helps all of us to better understand how we can introduce practices in our life that are more Jesus-focused and less me-focused. I've been fortunate to meet Mark and be taught by him on some of the elements of his book. What was particularly pleasing for me having spent some time with Mark I realised he was just like you and me, he was no Mother Teresa, he grapples with living the Way of Jesus as much as anyone. However, what is especially different about Mark and his wife, Lisa, is they've been having a real go at it for years now and by using different 'experiments' (usually with others) have borne the fruit from stretching themselves and picking themselves up when an experiment may not have worked the way they initially thought it would. The book is essentially broken into two sections: the first being the 'theory' and the second being the 'practice'. Full of stories, learnings from experiments completed by them and many others and wisdom from the Bible and other wise ones, this is an invaluable addition to the spiritual formation catalogue and is a must read for anyone desiring to discover the wonder of living more like Jesus did. The book flows well and in that respect is easy to read but you can't not read it without being challenged to conduct your own experiment(s) and that's the brilliance of it - Mark shows us how to do it step-by-step. Plus you come to see Jesus in an even brighter light. Grab a copy of it as you won't be disappointed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cara Gabrielse

    This is part handbook, part memoir, part theological dive into practicing the ways of Jesus in community. If Goodreads had 1/2 stars I would rate it 3.5. I got bored and skimmed over some of the personal storytelling as I didn't find it engaging. What was engaging and extremely helpful were the ideas and practices Scandrett laid out on how he and his community took the words of Jesus seriously and organized themselves like a dojo, a place to practice doing the things Jesus calls his followers to This is part handbook, part memoir, part theological dive into practicing the ways of Jesus in community. If Goodreads had 1/2 stars I would rate it 3.5. I got bored and skimmed over some of the personal storytelling as I didn't find it engaging. What was engaging and extremely helpful were the ideas and practices Scandrett laid out on how he and his community took the words of Jesus seriously and organized themselves like a dojo, a place to practice doing the things Jesus calls his followers to do. To quote Scandrette, “a group of people should get together and simply try to do the things that Jesus instructed his disciples to do.” (p. 15). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition. The book contains a lot of practical advice on how to apply this in your community, I am experimenting with my own small group. In my opinion, this is what 'church' should be, people living out the mission Jesus invites us to, not a place to go on Sunday to sing and listen to someone tell us what they think God has to say.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Kohlhepp

    very practical book the focuses on small group activities he calls experiments. He pushes the reader to lead or be a part of a group that moves from sit and think about our relationship with Jesus and make each other feel good for believing the right thing to go and do and risk to learn through these experiments.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Unique in its presentation of concrete ideas for running "experiments of obedience." There's definitely material here to help the Christian who is stuck in the rut of traditional spiritual growth practices. I anticipate putting some of the experiments in this book to work in my own life and finding ways to introduce them into the small group culture at my local church. Unique in its presentation of concrete ideas for running "experiments of obedience." There's definitely material here to help the Christian who is stuck in the rut of traditional spiritual growth practices. I anticipate putting some of the experiments in this book to work in my own life and finding ways to introduce them into the small group culture at my local church.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hallie

    This book did a nice job promoting values-based living and the importance of community. However, the idea of the experiments wasn't necessarily what I was looking for and at times felt too specific. I imagine this being a useful read for people at a different point and wanting something a little different from their spirituality. I wouldn't discount the book, but I found it to be just ok. This book did a nice job promoting values-based living and the importance of community. However, the idea of the experiments wasn't necessarily what I was looking for and at times felt too specific. I imagine this being a useful read for people at a different point and wanting something a little different from their spirituality. I wouldn't discount the book, but I found it to be just ok.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark Knight

    I'd give it a 3.5 stars. A very practical book that has very specific ideas for groups and individuals. I'd give it a 3.5 stars. A very practical book that has very specific ideas for groups and individuals.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Christianson

    Some interesting thoughts on practical Christian living.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Smith

    A compelling case for obedience based discipleship

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Lavoie

    Exceptionally challenging book about putting hands and feet to belief.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    It seems all too easy to walk away from hearing a sermon without a tangible application. What good is it to read scripture and pontificate about it without coming up with clear, explicit ways to apply it? As Christians, we understand that it's grace and not works that save us but being saved should ignite a spark within us to live out the way of Jesus. What would it look like if I were to exit church not just thinking "I should read my Bible more" or "I'm going to spend more time in prayer" but It seems all too easy to walk away from hearing a sermon without a tangible application. What good is it to read scripture and pontificate about it without coming up with clear, explicit ways to apply it? As Christians, we understand that it's grace and not works that save us but being saved should ignite a spark within us to live out the way of Jesus. What would it look like if I were to exit church not just thinking "I should read my Bible more" or "I'm going to spend more time in prayer" but with a plan to give away half of what I own or spend time with the poor or to analyze my use of finances? And not just walk away with a plan but with a group of people I have vowed to be accountable to? This is what it looks like to practice the way of Jesus to invoke real change in our lives. It was inspiring to read about Scandrette's small groups and their experiments, which have brought about change in the participants and in some cases the surrounding communities. The book is chock full of examples of experiments he has taken part of and experiment ideas for the reader to try. For this reason, it doesn't make sense to read this book in isolation because it's a book that asks the reader to step out of her comfort zone and try something new, something that will ultimately reshape her relationships with others and with God. There is real power in application on this level because as you stretch yourself and ask God to use you and surprise you, you can guarantee He will answer those prayers. One critique I have with this book is that it doesn't take the time to delve into failed experiments. Since this book acts as more of a guide than just a book to read for entertainment, it would do well to guide the reader through failed situations. What does the community do when an experiment goes awry? What are helpful ways to process it? How do you move on without feeling totally defeated? This book is challenging, convicting and at times uncomfortable. Some experiments left me wondering whether I would honestly take part in them given the choice. If I've become too complacent in my faith and I'm fine with the status quo then what does that mean about my growth as a Christian? The experiments we have chosen to perform in our own church community have been rewarding and well-received. They're not always pretty but ultimately they have given way to living as a Christian in a more intentional manner.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rick Quinn

    This book by Mark Scandrette is a dangerous read and I suspect that Scandrette is a dangerous man for this very reason: he dares to take the teachings of Jesus at their word. What follows is an invitation to "experiments in truth" where a community of individuals make a vow to discern together how to live out the teachings of Jesus in the midst of their lives. The book describes the process and narrates the story of how Scandrette and others have tried to enter into communal practice together in This book by Mark Scandrette is a dangerous read and I suspect that Scandrette is a dangerous man for this very reason: he dares to take the teachings of Jesus at their word. What follows is an invitation to "experiments in truth" where a community of individuals make a vow to discern together how to live out the teachings of Jesus in the midst of their lives. The book describes the process and narrates the story of how Scandrette and others have tried to enter into communal practice together in a spirit of mutual support and accountability. He is open in insisting that these are experiments and that there is as much to be learned from failure as there is from success. As an author, he also is vulnerable and honest about the difficulties entailed in a life of discipleship and thus avoids the "five steps to a transformed life" formula. This book can be read individually but is also structured to be entered into as a group journey experimenting together on the way of Jesus. This is a book about transformation. It is a dangerous threat to the watered down versions of Christianity that domesticate Jesus of Nazareth into a comforting supporter of the status quo. Pick up this book. You will be challenged...but you won't be sorry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Practicing the Way of Jesus has some creative and wonderful ideas in it about living the kingdom life together as community and creating new practices to change lives and the wider world. It is easy enough to read, though not always well organized. It's tone at the beginning was offputting to me - a kind of hipper-than-thou can-do attitude, that seemed to dismiss intellectual and internal spiritual pursuits and even the church for the author's "tribal" and physical activities. It dissipated as t Practicing the Way of Jesus has some creative and wonderful ideas in it about living the kingdom life together as community and creating new practices to change lives and the wider world. It is easy enough to read, though not always well organized. It's tone at the beginning was offputting to me - a kind of hipper-than-thou can-do attitude, that seemed to dismiss intellectual and internal spiritual pursuits and even the church for the author's "tribal" and physical activities. It dissipated as the book went on (and he explained himself better), but really made it difficult for me to appreciate the work at first (and made it easy to dismiss his ideas as well). As the book progressed Scandrette's humility (or work on humility) did come out, and I heard the deep challenge of his questions and the radical, communal, and Christ-centered nature of the practices he suggested. Hopefully the author's writing will continue to develop and he can corral his thoughts to better organize them. His questions are already greatly challenging. Now to find a community to put some of these ideas into practice.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    For those communities looking to really follow the person of Jesus, this is a magnificent place to start. Mark Scandrette is a huge proponent of intentional faith communities, and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak a couple years ago. This book details his faith community's journey chasing after the person of Jesus in doing "experiments" where they practice living in ways that they have agreed upon to further their growth as persons, their relationship with Jesus, and their relationships wi For those communities looking to really follow the person of Jesus, this is a magnificent place to start. Mark Scandrette is a huge proponent of intentional faith communities, and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak a couple years ago. This book details his faith community's journey chasing after the person of Jesus in doing "experiments" where they practice living in ways that they have agreed upon to further their growth as persons, their relationship with Jesus, and their relationships with their immediate community and extended community. This book has ample opportunities for reflection and discussion and challenges us to live out what we believe and chase this man called Jesus.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Wierzbicki

    This book will either be a complete waste of your time or a moment of complete life change. The pages found here invite you to actually practice what you are reading and it is in the reflection questions and suggested experiments that the true value of Practicing the Way of Jesus is found. If you are willing to put something in beyond reading just for information Practicing the Way of Jesus could possibly change the course of your life from living for self to following in the way of Jesus and al This book will either be a complete waste of your time or a moment of complete life change. The pages found here invite you to actually practice what you are reading and it is in the reflection questions and suggested experiments that the true value of Practicing the Way of Jesus is found. If you are willing to put something in beyond reading just for information Practicing the Way of Jesus could possibly change the course of your life from living for self to following in the way of Jesus and along the way finding Life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Pharis Nienaber

    An enticing yet practical guide to engaging with the teachings of Jesus in a creative and community-based setting. The chapters are broken up by topics, with two chapters per topic- one being focused on the background and scriptural basis for the topic and the other corresponding chapter shares stories and practical prompts to experiment with applying teachings about said topics in your own life (i.e. hospitality, financial stewardship, etc.).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    A good friend had been encouraging me to read this for some time. It's a good book with quite a few helpful ideas as to how one or a group might take action to find out more of what it means to actually follow Jesus and not simply believe. If it succeeds in doing that I reckon it's a very good book. A good friend had been encouraging me to read this for some time. It's a good book with quite a few helpful ideas as to how one or a group might take action to find out more of what it means to actually follow Jesus and not simply believe. If it succeeds in doing that I reckon it's a very good book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Very much enjoyed this book. Great take on practical applications for living out the story of Jesus. I also appreciated the authors transparency on his failures along with successes. Worth a purchase.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brian King

    Jesus never called people to learn a bunch of good things in Sunday school. He called people to LIVE a life of transformed values and perspective in community together. This book contains some very practical examples of practicing the life Jesus called his disciples to live.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    This was a very challenging and thought provoking book. It explores the consequences of taking Jesus' teachings seriously. He provides many examples of his own experiences and those of other people who have chosen to live the way of Jesus. I highly recommend it. This was a very challenging and thought provoking book. It explores the consequences of taking Jesus' teachings seriously. He provides many examples of his own experiences and those of other people who have chosen to live the way of Jesus. I highly recommend it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tori Hook

    Read for Dynamics of Spiritual Growth class. Actual writing was not the best, but the practical experiments and invitation to really live out the way of Jesus was really exciting. This is a book I'll be returning to in later ministry and just life in general. Read for Dynamics of Spiritual Growth class. Actual writing was not the best, but the practical experiments and invitation to really live out the way of Jesus was really exciting. This is a book I'll be returning to in later ministry and just life in general.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    So much goodness in here! Makes me burn to see 'church' reclaimed not as an event where we passively receive our weekly grace-infusion, but as a experiment in actually LIVING the way of Jesus - church as a people GROWING in grace. So much goodness in here! Makes me burn to see 'church' reclaimed not as an event where we passively receive our weekly grace-infusion, but as a experiment in actually LIVING the way of Jesus - church as a people GROWING in grace.

  23. 4 out of 5

    InterVarsity Press

    This book just arrived in the IVP warehouse yesterday! Check it out!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sareen

    Practical read for embarking on potentially life changing spiritual journey.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gene

    A good "how-to" book. Some parts a bit tedious, but mostly a worthwhile and thought-provoking read. A good "how-to" book. Some parts a bit tedious, but mostly a worthwhile and thought-provoking read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is a wonderful book - so many practical ideas and challenging suggestions for how to follow Jesus

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pam Mcdonald

    LOVED! LOVED! LOVED!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz Whitlock

    Read what Jesus told us to do and then do it. What a good idea :) Great read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Qristy

    There's a lot of inspiring stuff in here. This is really a book that should be read slowly, and with a group, and taking days to ponder the questions it poses. There's a lot of inspiring stuff in here. This is really a book that should be read slowly, and with a group, and taking days to ponder the questions it poses.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rob Yackley

    Filled with creative and challenging thoughts on how to live like Jesus in your neighborhood.

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