It’s interesting how topics seem to emerge at the same time. Over the past week, Martin Saunders, contributing editor of Christian Today, has been writing about new spiritual disciplines in our modern world, in light of Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline” (see my post last month on a post by Kathleen Mulhern). Here’s a quick summary (click the links for full articles, with reflection questions). This would not only be good for personal reflection, but also as a study or exercise to do with younger generations or in small groups.

  1. The discipline of Phonedown – most straight-forward, fasting or breaking away from our phones to engage in real life/reality (in the author’s words, “an attitude which prioritises real-world relationships and experiences above the constant itch to check a mobile device”)
  2. The discipline of Flakelessness – not flaking or cancelling at the last minute (“Let’s be people of our word, who are prepared to commit to what we promise and show people they’re worth coming out for on a rainy night, however compelling the call of ____ (fill in your own excuse/distraction)”)
  3. The discipline of Optimism – “confronting those feelings of cynicism or negativity and interrogating them for signs of fairness … always starting from a position of trust, rather than mistrust … leaving people space to prove you were wrong to think the best of them, rather than waiting eagerly for them to show you were right not to.”
  4. The discipline of Activism – moving beyond slacktivism or online “clicktivism” (mere likes and shares) to actual engagement and action
  5. The discipline of Longevity – “asking God daily for his help in not being distracted by the cult of the new, but rather being focused on the things that are important, even if they’re ageing … trying to live simply, especially in the areas of culture where tempting upgrades are common, such as technology”

Related articles
3 new spiritual disciplines for a new technological reality