Anthem Ventura is part a family of churches helping people find their way back to God. The Anthem family of churches is united around shared mission, vision, values, and submission to the Lordship of King Jesus. In our cities, we are working to obey Jesus in helping people find their way back to God.
Cultivating a Rule of Life
What is a rule of life?
A rule of life is a schedule and set of practices and relational rhythms that help us create space in our busy world for us to be with Jesus, become like Jesus, and do what Jesus did—to live “to the full” ( John 10v10) in his kingdom, and in alignment with our deepest passions and priorities.
While the word “rule” may strike you as a strict or binding constraint, the Latin word we translate “rule” was originally the word for a trellis in a vineyard. In the same way a vine needs a trellis to lift it off the ground so it can bear the maximum amount of fruit, and keep free of predators and diseases, we need a rule as a kind of support structure to organize our life around “abiding in the vine,” ( John 15v1–8) as Jesus imagined.
"[A rule of life is] a set of practices to guard our habits and guide our lives." – Andy Crouch
It’s been said that we achieve inner peace when our schedule is aligned with our values. A rule of life is simply a tool to that end. Rather than a rigid, legalistic to-do list, it’s a life-giving structure for freedom, growth, and joy.
“A good rule can set us free to be our true and best selves. It is a working document, a kind of spiritual budget, not carved in stone but subject to regular review and revision. It should support us, but never constrict us.
– Margaret Guenther, Wife, Mother, & Anglican Priest
#1 Bible before phone
Start the day in quiet prayer and scripture reading before anything digital, like Instagram, or the news, or television. If you have kids, ideally this will be before they wake up. Simply start the day in quiet with God.
#2 Parent your phone
Instead of being ruled by your phone and it’s demand on you, you give rules to your phone. Your phone (1) goes to be before you, (2) wakes up after you, (3) “sleeps” in a different room of the house, (4) has “awake” time away from you, and (5) does what you tell it to do–not the other way around.
#3 Cultivate gratitude
Draw your attention to the things for which you are grateful. Perhaps you write them down each morning, or share with your family or friends around the dinner table in the evening.
#4 Exercise or go for a walk
Exercise or go for a walk through your neighborhood. There is something to engaging in this space in your body, to stay grounded with God.
#5 Limit screen time, escapist behaviors, and your intake of news
It will be very easy to indulge in escapist behaviors. Find ways to limit your intake of things like alcohol, social media, television, sugar, staying up late, etc. and curate the media you do intake, including the news media. The news cycle moves at a rapid pace, but our internal tempo is not meant to live at that speed. Limit your intake to two times daily. Consider setting an alarm for once in the morning and once in the evening.
#6 Practice Regular generosity
God knew that his people would become attached to things and in turn, worship them instead of him. We give regularly so that we are continually put in a position of humility, service, and trust; so that he can free us from the grasp of materialism.
#7 Regular Prayer & fasting
We feel lead to pray and fast during this time of fear and anxiety. We want to see God heal people in our city and restore the world around us. Take one day per week, or one per month, to fast through breakfast and lunch and use that time for prayer.
#8 Sabbath & Church on Sundays
Keep your routine to practice Sabbath, or to start one for the first time. And gather with us every Sunday as we worship together, learn from the Scriptures, and create space for the Spirit. We need people who know us and love us. You can’t become a real Christian alone. Christian maturity is not a solo journey, but a community process. Make a commitment to be there and to show up ready to care for one another.