I’m in process of expanding this as a cross-denominational template centered around our growth in Jesus rather than our belief in him. A theology of practice rather than a theology of belief.
1. Those who mentor to the Trade
In Evangelical terms, this is the Revival stage.
This stage is steeped in the Responsibility of Man
Institutionally, this is the realm of the evangelist and the preacher.
This is where we come alive to God, the ‘just as I am’ stage. This is where we accept Jesus as Lord, and begin our journey of faith.
This is also where we’re taught to the test. We are mentored the rules.
Here, we are led to become good workers, good laborers, good church people.
The down side of this is, that most of those who mentor at this level ‘guilt us’ into staying here, because it’s all they know. They encourage us to live lives of perpetual revival, running from fire to fire. It’s how they’re hardwired.
Key here is this: We become spiritual labors when we’ve been radically touched by the presence of God.
And yes, we’re all laborers in Christ. But God calls us to become more.
2. Those who mentor Craftsmen.
Again, in Evangelical terms, this is the Renewal stage.
This stage is steeped in the sovereignty of God.
This is where we are mentored to become experts in our gifts and calling.
Institutionally speaking: Pastors, prophets and apostles (bishops) are the best mentors here.
Here we become disciples of Jesus in every sense of the word.
We become spiritual craftsmen where we move in and out of the presence of God. We impart this hope through our gifts and calling.
In meditative terms, this is a state experience as opposed to a stage experience. This means that we can move into and out of the presence of God. States of consciousness ( like being aware of God’s presence) however, are never permanent.
3. And finally we come to those who mentor Artists.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
In Evangelical terms this is the Restoration stage…eternal restoration. God’s original intent.
This stage is steeped in being one with God. Duality falls away in the presence of God, superseded by the holiness of God. Wholeness, unity, belonging, and acceptance are hallmarks of this stage.
We become spiritual artists when we abide in the presence of God. It’s as simple as that.
This is the dwelling stage, where we co dwell with Christ.
We abide in Christ. We practice the presence of God. We become one who creates with God. We carry the very atmosphere of God with us.
This is the mentoring at Contemplative Monk. Now you know our secret sauce. 🙂
However, these three stages of spiritual growth are not progressive. We need every single one in our lives. So here’s a image.
They function more like a triangle rather than stepping-stones with the Artist at the top of the triangle. The left bottom is the Trade and the right bottom is the Craftsman. And we are the triangle. And grace is at the heart, the center as it always is.
This is a lot to take in all at once. I’ll work on simplifying this. I firmly believe that the genius of God is in his simplicity.
True genius is taking something incredibly complex and making it simple. Any idiot can make things complex.
I’ve tied a lot of knots in my life (making it complicated). Now it’s my turn to untie some.
Peace of Jesus!
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