Feeling kind of stuck in your faith walk?
You are not alone.
We know we are supposed to be followers of Jesus … But how?
What does it even mean to “follow” Jesus in today’s world? What attitudes and habits help you take a small next step, and then another, and then another? What do you do if you get off track?
The My Next Step series provides real help for real people who want to follow Jesus, but sometimes get stuck.
In these pages, you won’t find the secret formula that makes faith easy. You won’t find three sure-fire tips for tackling doubt. You won’t even find the one right way to improve your relationship with Jesus. Instead, you’ll find a gracious framework for following, laid in love, with practical, real-life faith experiments that help you explore ways you might take a small next step.
Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart. Yet it is the most exciting, challenging, joyful, and adventurous undertaking you could ever be part of. And there are no prerequisites: anybody can take a small step following Jesus at any time. Let’s see if we can do that together.
Inside Volume 1 You’ll find…
Maybe this is your first go-around taking your faith walk seriously. Or maybe you have been at this for years (decades?) and are looking for a helpful pattern to reset your personal discipleship experience. Whether you are brand new to faith in Jesus or a veteran of the ups and downs of following, this book is for you.
Packed with humor, insight, real to life theology, and even an assortment of faith experiments, Volume 1: Getting Started gives you a great place to begin (or begin again, for the hundredth time). Jesus is not in a hurry. Jesus loves you, and loves spending time with you. And Jesus is faithful; he won’t leave you alone to figure this out all by yourself.
Self-improvement makes following Jesus a burden; and burden is the enemy of faith. One of the best ways to flip the script on burden is to catch an attitude of adventure. Adventure thinking is less focused on your personal success or failure and much more interested what the Spirit of Jesus is doing, in you and in the world around you.
As you discover and focus on what Jesus is up in your life, you will end up growing in your faith and faithfulness—you will advance and improve—but almost as an afterthought. All along the way, My Next Step offers encouragement, grace, and the freedom to try, because Jesus has got you covered, no matter what.
A Real Jesus
Jesus promises to meet us in his Word and to be our companion on the way. Jesus also seems to think that, unless you desperately need him in a regular, ongoing kind of way, you don’t yet understand what grace means, or what faith looks like, or how the Kingdom of Heaven works.
Desperately needing Jesus all the time—that’s what faith is all about. In fact, one of the best ways to describe discipleship is simply this: discipleship is growing more and more in the understanding of how much you need Jesus all the time, for absolutely everything. The prayers, faith experiments, and Scripture readings in these pages put an ongoing dependence on Jesus front and center.
“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands”
Matthew 6:9 (MSG)
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 15:9 (ESV)
Praise for My Next Step
Get a Complete Set (Coming Soon)
Volume 1: Getting Started (Easter, 2022) looks at attitudes and patterns of thinking that help make following Jesus an adventure rather than a burden. You’ll practice being honest with God and withholding judgment long enough to wonder what Jesus is up to in your life. You’ll get a chance to try some discipleship tools like the Secret Code Prayer or the Spiritual MRI. You’re off to a good start.
Volume 2: Small Next Steps (Summer, 2022) leans into the blessings of having someone (anyone!) on your rope as you move forward in faith. You’ll explore how to engage Jesus in his Word and look for the work of the divine Sculptor in your life as the Spirit shapes a unique response in you.
Finally, in Volume 3: Finding Your Groove (Fall, 2022), we’ll put it all together to find a simple, repeatable process that supports your ongoing faith journey. The key questions, “Where am I right now?” (Vol. 1) and “Who’s on my rope?” (Vol. 2) frame three intentional prayers in Vol. 3:
- Jesus, where are you speaking into my life?
- Spirit, what response are you shaping in me?
- Father, what promise covers my next step?
Once our Standard Following Procedure is in place, we’ll explore some ways we get off track, and discover some tools for recalibrating. Don’t miss the rest of the story in Volumes 2 and 3 of My Next Step: A How-To Companion for People Who Want to Follow Jesus (But Sometimes Get Stuck)!