Tales from the Next Step Community
The Next Step Community is a group of people, like you, who are trying to follow Jesus. Be Still and Notice includes heartfelt articles, stories, anecdotes, and devotions from the second year of the Next Step Community blog.
This anthology of insights and perspectives will help you take a small next step on your journey of faith. With refreshingly honest struggles, keen biblical insights, and a spirit of discovery, the authors and contributors from The Next Step Community will help you see your own faith life in a new light.
Extraordinary Help from Ordinary People
You won’t find any silver bullet answers here; just real people trying to make sense out of the adventure of following Jesus. You can come with your misgivings and doubts, with your thrills and triumphs, with your personal failures and your unique joys. You will find people like you who will help you into a deeper dependence and more vibrant relationship with Jesus.
“Invite Jesus into the transitions you are navigating, large or small, light-hearted or heavy. You might find the help and healing you didn’t know you needed.“
“What if I admitted my inability to fix everything, and got out of the way now and then—would my kids see more of Jesus’ work in their lives?“
Seasons and Themes of Following
These 74 articles, written by 18 different authors and contributors, help you be still long enough to notice that Jesus is up to something in you and through you.
The articles in Section 1, Jesus & My Ordinary Life, look for how Jesus is showing up in your regular, normal, rather hum-drum week. From gnats to pizzas; from tea kettles to grad school applications: the stuff of our everyday, ordinary lives is also the stuff of faith formation. Wondering what Jesus is up makes even a normal day a kind of faith adventure!
Section 2, Jesus & My Emotions, helps you notice what you are feeling and invite Jesus into your experience. You may be surprised how much the presence of Jesus makes a difference in your struggles as well as your joys.
Section 3, Jesus & Current Culture reflects on how the Spirit used the headlines and headaches of our contemporary age to point us to Jesus and invite us to follow him. Current culture in 2020 and 2021 was still dominated by the world-wide experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Racial tension and political unrest magnified by social media also affected our normal, everyday lives. But Jesus is faithful. Even in the midst of change and challenge, Jesus was inviting us to walk with him.
Sections 4 and 5 respond to patterns and seasons in our normal lives. From Advent & Christmas to Lent & Springtime, the yearly rhythms of our lives echo the rhythm of God’s grace. Return to these familiar seasons with a fresh set of eyes for how the Spirit is working in your life.
The last two sections, Faith Experiments and Following Jesus explore more deeply some themes that permeate the rest of the book. It’s easy to get into a discipleship rut. And it’s easy to feel like you don’t have any options. The Faith Experiments come with only one guarantee: if you try, you might fail, and that’s OK. But following Jesus isn’t about being “successful” or even “good” at being a disciple. Following Jesus is learning again and again to be still and notice your deep dependence of Jesus and the joy with which Jesus continue to call you to follow him.
Authors who Encourage and Inspire
18 different authors and contributors took 12 months to create the 74 articles included in this anthology of next step discipleship. Their ages span 50 years and they hail from around the country and across the globe. You’ll find real people who relate to your real life in ways that helps you see Jesus more clearly.
Some of your favorite Next Step voices return for year two of the Next Step Community. You’ll enjoy catching up with Katie Helmreich, Naomi Rossow, Kim Longden, Kristeen Bruun, and Justin Rossow.
New contributors add new perspective to the adventure of following Jesus. You’ll get to know Alli Bauck, Sam Fink, Christi Gerloff, Anne Meyer, and Raelyn Pracht–all new to the Next Step Community blog in 20/21.
Next Step Press is committed to building collaborative relationships that support a culture of next step discipleship, so you’ll also get to hear from some of our ministry partners on this journey of faith:
- Conrad Gempf, from the London School of Theology
- Heidi Goehmann, from heidigoehmann.com
- Amy Larson, from Mom Fuel
- Valerie Matyas, from Visual Faith™ Ministry
- Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., from Concordia Seminary–St. Louis
- Jamie Wiechman, from Breathe Life Ministries
Some of our contributors shared a single story or insight. Others wrote regularly over the course of the year. You’ll find new friends and old as you page through the experiments, prayers, questions, and convictions from this patchwork of personalities–all trying to follow Jesus.
Be Still and Notice is a real, engaging, and inspiring look at the ordinary joys and challenges of following Jesus. Read it as a devotion, gift it to a friend, or explore it with your small group: this collection will help you delight in taking a small step following Jesus.
With contributions from
Kristeen A. Bruun
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.