Tales from the Next Step Community
How do you live out your faith in the midst of your everyday life? That simple question helped launch The Next Step Community as a place where real people actively look for what Jesus is doing in their ordinary lives, and then share an insight or encouragement along the way.
The articles in this anthology, originally published on our blog between October 2021 and September 2022, continue to tell the “Tales from the Next Step Community” we began with Jesus at the Center of My Messy Life (2020) and Be Still and Notice (2021).
You won’t find simple, silver-bullet answers from these bloggers. But you will find an attitude of expectation, a playful wondering if Jesus might be up to something in our mundane habits, normal conversations, weekly work schedules, and family routines.
Extraordinary Help from Ordinary People
You’ll hear from real people who are often struggling, sometimes failing, and consistently looking for where Jesus is speaking into their particular situations, how the Spirit might be shaping their response, and what promise from the Father propels their next step.
The title for this year’s anthology, Take My Moments and My Days, is taken from an article by blogger Katie Helmreich; but, of course, Katie took that phrase from the familiar hymn, “Take My Life, and Let It Be.”
That hymn is a prayer of consecration, dedicating again to the Lord’s service my hands and feet; my voice and lips; my silver and gold; my intellect, will, heart, love, life, and self—all those moments and days that, put together, make up my own journey of faith in this world.
I used to dread the question, “What did you do all day?” Maybe we could simply respond, “Today, I followed Jesus.”
Big or small, we can be on the lookout for ways God is working, and share them around the dinner table or driving in the car.
Themes for Following
These 55 articles, written by 13 different authors, encourage you to see Jesus active in your ordinary moments and days.
Section 1, Walking With, embraces the Next Step theme that we follow Jesus better when we follow him together. From small conversations with friends, to simple acts of service, to the challenge of facing cultural change, our communal faith requires community.
Where do you see the Word of God showing up in your life? Section 2, The Word at Work, helps you notice how the Word sustains your faith in a variety of ways. As the Spirit empowers your hearing and reading, you’ll find real help right where you need it: eternal truths that matter for your Tuesday afternoon.
Following Jesus with your family isn’t always easy. In fact, some of your greatest failures as well as your greatest joys will come in interactions with people
you share a table, a TV, and a bathroom with. Section 3, Family Following, looks for how Jesus invades your family spaces with refreshing grace and a standing invitation to try again. It’s not easy to follow Jesus with your family; but it sure is good, because Jesus is good.
Being Myself, with Jesus (Section 4) explores the question, What if you could just be yourself, with Jesus? What if Jesus loved you just as you are, just who are you are today, experiencing everything you are experiencing in your regular, ordinary life? What if Jesus knew, and cared, all about your moments and your days—moments and days filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, small victories and plenty of defeat? What would it mean to be yourself, but with Jesus?
Section 5 (Small Next Steps) and Section 6 (Off the Beaten Path) continue to provide real insight and real help for the adventure of following Jesus. The six sections of this anthology make a great six-week small group Bible; or you could use them as your own personal excursion of discovery as you take a small next step on your journey of faith.
Authors who Encourage and Inspire
13 different authors and contributors took 12 months to create the 55 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.
Like you, our Next Step Community bloggers are trying to live out dependence on Jesus moment to moment, day to day. Their stories are an invitation to you to join the adventure—to try, and fail, and get up and try again—to live under an umbrella of grace that makes even your daily grind a place you can expect Jesus to show up. The Jesus to whom we dedicate our lives first dedicated himself to us: that eternal confidence covers all your moments and your days.
Take My Moments and My Days is a relatable, 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