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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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How Growing on the Frontline helps you grow more like Jesus where you are

Where has God placed you? 

I’ve lived in lots of different places, with family, in community, and on my own. And each place and community has offered something different. One house was on the friendliest street. Another had amazing sunsets almost every night. Our current house sits on the edge of a valley and, when the rain lifts, has rainbows unlike anything I’ve seen before.  

But each place has also had its issues: neighbours growing weed, plumbing that plays up, or housemates that never seemed to notice the washing up. Life is a mix of blessing and battles. Beauty and chaos. And it’s in this mixture that God grows us – forming us as his disciples.  

We grow where we’re planted 

But growing on our frontlines – the everyday places where we regularly spend time with those who don’t follow Jesus – can feel hard. Really hard. When we’re busy with the demands of life, we’re often surprised by the challenges that expose our unpreparedness. A difficult situation at work, in our house, or at university throws us. We react instinctively – and suddenly we feel like we’ve got it all wrong. We’re not unlike the first disciples, finding ourselves out of our depth and needing God to help us fix the messiness in our hearts and situations. 

If we want to be people who’re growing more like Jesus, we need to be Jesus-focused, open to his transforming work in our lives, right where we are. Because his restoration work is beautiful, radical, and costly, and it happens as we go about our daily lives.  

We grow in community 

If you’re wanting to become more like Jesus, I’d encourage you to try Growing on the Frontline. It’s a small group course designed to help you become more like Jesus in the tough times and the good – reflecting on what’s happening in and around you, receiving wisdom from Scripture, allowing the Spirit to renew your heart and mind, and so responding to life’s ups and downs more fruitfully. Over eight sessions, you’ll learn how to sustain spiritual growth – and see the impact it has on the way we live in the places we find ourselves Monday to Saturday.  

I love Growing on the Frontline because it provides space for small groups to share what’s difficult about their frontlines and reflect on what it looks like to grow in the places where we’ve been planted. It also gives plenty of time to try out prayer practices that’ll help you work with God as he forms you day by day – engaging with him in the quiet, on the go, and on your frontline.  

We grow by doing 

Of these, my personal favourite is the Examen prayer exercise. It helps me slow down at the end of a day, reflecting on where I’ve been and the blessings and challenges I’ve encountered along the way.  

When I last used it, God highlighted one of the families we’re getting to know on our school run – political refugees who are new to the area. From day we met them in the park, we’ve had a sense of God doing something. There’s a natural connection which, in God’s goodness, is growing richer on each encounter.  

But the story is far from over. By praying for them regularly and letting the Spirit work in me, my heart is attentive to see what God is doing in this relationship. Whilst my natural instinct is often to prioritise all the things I need to get done that day, as I reflect on how God’s at work in and through me, I’m spurred on to keep partnering with him in his transformative work – to show this family the sacrificial love, compassion, and warm welcome that Jesus would.  

Sharing experiences like this with a small group can inspire others to see God shaping them in their everyday – and it works both ways: I love hearing about how God is working through the chaos and beauty of the other people, too. By recognising Jesus’s presence and work on my frontlines, and the frontlines of those in my group, I can celebrate his transformational power as I grow to live more like him.

Revd Jo Trickey
Church Advocate, LICC

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