Rule of LifeBREAD READING PLAN
To pursue unity and maturity as followers of Jesus, we as a church are keeping a shared rule of life.
What Is a Rule of Life?
A rule of life, or set of spiritual practices, (taken from a Latin word meaning trellis, as in John 15:1-17) is a way to arrange your everyday life to keep you connected to God and abiding in Jesus.
According to John 15:1-10, we as Jesus’ disciples, have only one job to do: abide. Our church-wide rule of life is a way that we are collectively doing our part to abide or remain in Jesus. When it comes to how to adopt a rule of life, everyone must begin where they’re at and not where they hope to be. Some might be slowly beginning this new rule, while others might be eager for a challenge — which is why we’ve created entry level and reach versions of each practice below.
It’s helpful to keep a rule of life with a community, and this is why we’re inviting and encouraging our whole church to jump in and keep this same rule together. We hope and pray it will be like a trellis our church community’s spiritual maturity, unity, and joy can grow on.
We’ve provided more information regarding each practice below, and will continue to update this page as we adopt new practices into our rule of life.
What Is Reality SF’s Rule of Life?
As a church, we have determined eight spiritual practices to help us center our lives on Christ. To aid us in remembering these practices and their purposes, we’ve incorporated them with our church logo.
For more information about how our logo conveys the identity, mission, and vision of our church, visit our previous post on the Reality SF logo.
Inward Practices for Prayer
Focusing toward the center of the logo, you’ll see four arrows pointing inward. They represent spiritual practices for prayerfully connecting with Jesus in our inner lives.
- Solitude & Silence
Outward Practices for Seeking Renewal
Focusing on the outside of the logo, you’ll see four arrows pointing outward. These represent the spiritual practices for seeking renewal alongside Jesus as we work and commune with others.
What Practices Are We Starting With as a Church?
We introduced our three foundational practices in the fall of 2020: Scripture, Fasting, and Sabbath.
We will slowly be adding the other practices to these over the coming weeks, but feel free to start at your own pace and as God prompts you, beginning with these foundational three.
Scripture (Daily BREAD Reading)
Every Monday through Friday we read a passage from the New Testament, on Saturdays we read a Psalm, and then we break on Sundays as we worship online together. We are using the acronym BREAD to guide us. This approach to Scripture reading invites us to:
- BE STILL: Find a place where you can encounter God, ask Him to fill the space and then take a minute in stillness.
- READ: Read through the passage slowly and look for one verse that stands out, grabs your attention, or interests you.
- ENCOUNTER: Take your chosen verse and meditate on it, consider what God might be saying to you.
- APPLY: Turn your focus outwards, think about how you might be able to apply this to your day.
- DEVOTE: Close by writing a simple prayer of devotion to God.
Scripture Entry Level: Seek to spend at least ten minutes each day in the scriptures, with BREAD as a guide –– journaling if you’re able.
Scripture Reach Level: Give as much time as you’re able to BREAD each day — and do it before you turn your phone on.
Participate in BREAD
There are two ways to engage with the reading plan this year.
We have created a digital version of our Scripture reading plan as a reference point if you are unable to pick up our printed guide.
We have created a print version of the BREAD reading plan with three unique covers for you to choose from. We hope these covers inspire you to open your Bible daily and engage in God’s Word with us. You can pick up a copy at one of our in-person gatherings.
Every Wednesday, we desire to train our bodies in self-control and dependence upon God through fasting. If Wednesday is not good timing for you, feel free to choose another day.
Fasting Entry Level: Just fast from lunch, taking that time to pray alone or with others safely.
Fasting Reach Level: Fast for 24 hours — meaning, eat dinner on Tuesday evening, then break your fast with dinner on Wednesday evening.
Additionally, each week, we post a Fasting & Prayer Focus that can guide us in how to collectively fast and pray together.
More on Fasting
Teaching on Fasting
Listen or watch our teaching on fasting from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Fasting
Listen to the companion episode on fasting in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Fasting in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of fasting together.
Solitude & Silence
This world is full of noise, and we can often be tempted to use this noise to drown out our own anxieties, worries, or fears. Unfortunately, this also keeps us from finding the deep peace God offers. The spiritual practice of solitude and silence invites us to turn down the noise and connect to God, our source of peace.
Solitude & Silence Entry Level: Set aside 5-30 minutes daily for being alone with God in silence – without screens, books, or audio.
Solitude & Silence Reach Level: In addition to the daily rhythm of solitude and silence, devote a day or weekend once a year to take a silent, solo retreat. This could entail going to a retreat center, camping, or simply removing the usual distractions and staying home.
More on Solitude & Silence
Teaching on Solitude & Silence
Listen or watch our teaching on solitude and silence from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Solitude & Silence
Listen to the companion episode on solitude and silence in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Solitude & Silence in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of solitude and silence together.
Especially in a time such as this, we need to set aside time to rest, practice gratitude, and delight in God. A typical Sabbath starts on Friday evening and ends Saturday evening. If this is not good timing for you, feel free to choose another day.
Sabbath Entry Level: Practice just a Sabbath meal. Rest intentionally during this time, delight in God, and practice gratitude for things in the last week.
Sabbath Reach Level: Do a 24-hour Sabbath without any work, and don’t be on your phone or any other screens.
More on Sabbath
Teaching on Sabbath
Listen or watch our teaching on sabbath from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Sabbath
Listen to the companion episode on sabbath in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Sabbath in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of sabbath together.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to live counter-culturally to that of the world. We seek to welcome the stranger in a spirit of kindness, kinship, and love. Hospitality is the spiritual practice of moving away from hostility and living into our calling as peacemakers for the Kingdom of God.
Hospitality Entry Level: Keep a prayer list of those you would like to see come to know Jesus. Connect one-on-one with them in a casual setting, like a walk.
Hospitality Reach Level: In addition to a prayer list, invite someone into the spiritually-rich tradition of fellowship around the table, sharing a meal and welcoming them into your home. (We encourage you to do this safely as COVID-19 restrictions ease.)
More on Hospitality
Teaching on Hospitality
Listen or watch our teaching on hospitality from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Hospitality
Listen to the companion episode on hospitality in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Hospitality in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of hospitality together.
A culture of careerism would have us idolize our work, seeing it as the source of identity, purpose, and social status. Vocation, as spiritual practice, liberates us to work in alignment with how God has uniquely called and gifted us to contribute.
Vocation Entry Level: Engage the practice of kavana, which means setting a holy intention in your work. For example, say a simple prayer before you begin work each day: “Thank you, God, for the work ahead of me today. Please help me to contribute how You have called me.”
Vocation Reach Level: Organize a group of people you trust to serve as your personal board of advisors. Turn to them regularly for support, wisdom, and encouragement in living out your vocation.
More on Vocation
Teaching on Vocation
Listen or watch our teaching on vocation from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Vocation
Listen to the companion episode on vocation in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Vocation in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of vocation together.
Materialism, consumerism, and the constant need to accumulate more for ourselves are easy temptations to give into. However, the spiritual practice of generosity compels us to turn our attention toward our neighbor, especially the poor and marginalized, to bring about the loving-justice God desires for this world.
Generosity Entry Level: Inventory how you spend your time and money with an earnest reflection on how much you invest in yourself versus others, especially the poor and marginalized.
Generosity Reach Level: Committed to proactively valuing generosity, set up weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for how you will give generously of your time and finances. This might look like giving generously to the church, local organizations, missionaries, and unhoused neighbors.
More on Generosity
Teaching on Generosity
Listen or watch our teaching on generosity from the series “Future Church.”
Podcast on Generosity
Listen to the companion episode on generosity in our Reality SF Podcast feed.
Explore Generosity in Community
Join with your Community Group or a small group of fellow Jesus-followers and reflect on the practice of generosity together.
What About the Other Practices in Our Rule of Life?
As we continue in our series Future Church: A Way of Life for the Church of the Future, we will explore more practices. This page will be updated as a resource for you while we continue to integrate new practices into our shared rule of life. Check back here for more information on the practices of: