Arnold on a steering wheel

Have you heard of Holy Habits? Over the past weekend, we have been away at Cliff College, in Derbyshire for a retreat where the author of Holy Habits, Andrew Roberts led us through exploring some of the habits involved in this book. I really enjoyed learning more about, and exploring, these habits (and have also been reading about them in Andrew’s book) so I wanted to give you a quick introduction to Holy Habits and why you might want to find out more about them!

The concept of Holy Habits begins with the passage: Acts 2:42-47.

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Acts 2:42-47

This passage is looking at the life, and characteristics, of the early Church and gives us somewhat of a “vision” for what the Church could, and should, look like – what we can strive towards.

If you’re more of a visual learner, we have put together an animation depicting this reading:

This is where the idea of Holy Habits comes from. Andrew has drawn out 10 particular “habits” that we see demonstrated in the early Church through this passage, highlighting them as habits that we can practice both individually and together as church communities.

The 10 Holy Habits are:

  • Biblical Teaching
  • Prayer
  • Fellowship
  • Breaking Bread
  • Sharing Resources
  • Serving
  • Worship
  • Gladness & Generosity
  • Eating Together
  • Making More Disciples

Can you spot all of them in the passage above?

The idea is that by practicing these habits, following the example of the early Church, we grow to be a stronger Church, as well as closer to God individually. When I talking about “practicing” these habits, this isn’t about reaching a certain level that is “good enough”, it is about exploring these habits, learning more about them and how they draw us into greater faith, and ensuring that they are consistent part of our lives and community.

Want to find out more about Holy Habits?

I am hoping to write more in-depth blogs about each of the Holy Habits, and how we might practice them in our own lives and communities – let me know in the comments if there is anything in particular you would like to know!

Since Andrew wrote this book a number of years ago, there is now a whole collection of useful draws drawing on this idea – books of readings and reflections exploring each habit, resource books to help your church explore each habit together, small group materials, a book exploring how these habits can be explored through Messy Church sessions, and of course Andrew’s original book: Holy Habits. You can find everything via Bible Reading Fellowship. Whilst you’re over there, do consider supporting the work of BRF in their various programmes, and resources, without support – they cannot make such wonderful resources like this available to us.

Whilst I was reflecting upon this topic, I was reminded of a somewhat similar concept I explored a couple of years ago called Sacred Spaces – I wrote a whole blog post about it which you can read here. There are of course so many tools for us to draw upon and use in different ways, but what I love about Holy Habits is how solidly, and overtly, it is rooted in scripture.

I was so blessed by my experience of this Holy Habits retreat (which I would definitely recommend to you if they are run again!) and am looking forward to exploring these habits individually in more detail myself. If you have any questions about Holy Habits, leave them in the comments or drop me a message!

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