A2J Rule of Life 2021
Who We Are
Apprenticeship to Jesus is a community of people from various Christian traditions who are called to participate in the restoration of discipleship to Jesus as a way of life, and to promote unity in the Body of Christ through reconciliation.
We are united by our Rule of Life, which expresses our mission, values and shared commitments.
We have been formed by the rich heritage of diverse Christian communities throughout history who balanced well the pursuit of intimacy with God and a life of service for the sake of others. We have learned from them to live rhythms of prayer, study, mission and simplicity. Here are some helpful definitions:
1. Prayer – Learning to be with God throughout each day.
2. Study – Being transformed by the renewing of our minds, through engaging deeply with Scripture and mature Christian teaching.
3. Service/Mission – Offering our unique gifts in love to God and one another, making disciples of Jesus.
4. Simplicity -- We recognize that going deep with God and entering into the fullness of life and mission that Jesus invites us into requires a counter-cultural way of life. We seek to prioritize time and energy for God and for others and resist the societal norms of consumerism, escapism, and compulsive busyness.
“Restoring discipleship to Jesus as a way of life” by creating and supporting small, humble communities centered around prayer, study, and mission.
Discipleship: Living a life of discipleship that is integrated into everyday life and fosters a deepening friendship with Jesus, and commitment to grow in his likeness for the sake of others.
Reconciliation & Unity: Working and praying toward reconciliation and unity in the Body of Christ, knowing this is at the core of Jesus’ heart and will release God’s blessing and healing not only to the Church but to the world. We honor diverse Christian expressions and welcome the opportunity to learn from one another.
Loving our Neighbors: We believe the mission of Jesus thrives when it is expressed relationally and naturally in the neighborhoods where we life. The world desperately needs small, humble and faithful communities of love that become signs of reconciliation, unity, peace.
Our Shared Commitments (Renewed Yearly)
Prayer: Find a daily rhythm of prayer that works for you. Prayerful engage Curriculum Examen Questions.
Study: Work through A2J Study Curriculum
Mission: Ask, “Jesus, how are you inviting me, and our community, to be on mission with You?”
Small Community Groups
Prayer: Pray together. Consider using the monthly Scripture from the Curriculum for a Lectio Divina.
Study: Discuss how God has been at work through the Curriculum and Examen Questions.
Mission: Share and encourage each other around mission/calling and as God leads, invite new people into small groups.
Note: Those facilitating each small group will be the ones to determine when and how often they meet, how each of these components is prioritized, and how accountability works within their group.
Large Monthly Gatherings (Every 4th Sunday, 3-5:30pm)
Prayer: Worship & Prayer (A2J Prayer Book as a primary resource)
Study: A time for envisioning and reinforcing our A2J values and commitments through teaching and conversations around prayer, study, mission and simplicity.
Mission: Hear from others about tangible mission expressions, celebrate what God is doing among us and even find ways to collaborate and serve together.
How to Make a Commitment
If a follower of Jesus is interested in growing within the context of the A2J community, the first step is to connect one-on-one and within an A2J small group, where values, structure and A2J Rule of Life should be shared. If there is an interest in making a yearly commitment, they would be welcome to visit a larger monthly gathering for further discernment. A commitment lasts through the end of the A2J yearly cycle.
Note: If the need arises to end a commitment before the year is up, reasons should be communicated within their small group, allowing space to understand, bless and release.
Statement of Faith
We come from different Christian traditions, nationalities and generations. We do not fully agree on all matters of doctrine or practice; however, we are bound together by beliefs that we see as most central and vital to our Christian faith. We affirm the Nicene and the Apostles Creeds. “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”― St. Augustine
Apprenticeship to Jesus (A2J) was birthed out of the hearts of Ryan and Noleen Thurman, through the strong influence and relational covering of Antioch Network.
A2J Leadership Team
This team consists of those called and formed within A2J. It discerns vision and direction for A2J, Gives oversight, guidance, and mentoring to small groups, as needed. Decisions are made as we seek to hear from, and be led by God. We move forward when God brings us to a place of consensus. If there is a check or caution then we wait on the Lord until it is resolved.
This team shares the practical responsibilities of facilitating A2J, including communication, delegating tasks and planning large gatherings.
Current Team: Thurmans, Alianza’s, Jesses and Byerly’s.
A2J is a ministry of Antioch Network. AN is made up of mature Christians who have influenced us deeply and will continue to do so. They are available to offer guidance and oversight to us as needed.