The Pursuit, honestly.

 

Honestly

I’m going to be honest. Many people are asking what The Pursuit is, and I struggle.

Aside from the many hundreds who have been part of it each year, loved it and been blessed by it, I find it hard to know where to begin explaining it from scratch.

Not because we lack clarity of vision, but because it’s different to what we’ve experienced before. Let me explain quickly.

So much of how we understand and communicate new things is based on what we’ve had before. When it comes to hearing about a new Christian event, we make assumptions about what it will be like based on what we’ve experienced before – especially if it’s a ministry name we’re familiar with involving people we’ve heard of.

We value those events and our friends involved in running them. And we don’t want to describe ourselves by what or who we aren’t. We’re simply doing something different.

The problem is, sometimes it can be hard to imagine another way.

Why?

We know how easy it is to get distracted. To be sidetracked by what’s around us. For the values of consumerism, individualism and celebrity culture that dictate society to subtly permeate our theology and practices as disciples of Jesus. Before we know it we’re selling ourselves short – and our churches and our neighbours – on the good news of the kingdom of God on earth.

We’ve ended up as a generation in our teens, 20s and 30s in which many of us are lacking confidence that we have a significant part to play in the work of God on earth, and unsure how we would even go about it if we did. It may come across as apathy, but really we don’t know where to begin.

In a society permeated with individualism, celebrity culture and consumerism, The Pursuit is an opportunity to recover our holy identity and learn practically how to live differently. Not just for the sakes of our own relationship with God, but for our local churches and streets too.

This is the third year we’ve made space for those who want to come away on a retreat. A space where God rests us, refreshes us and sends us back to our neighbourhoods thinking and living a bit more like him.

What’s different?

Following Jesus is a matter of practical pursuit. We learn mostly by experience, not hearing. We often forget new things we’ve read, heard and sung. We rarely forget new things we’ve done.

We’ve pulled together with some friends we’re learning from, hosting activities and experiences that help return to our neighbourhoods more confident, competent and aware of God’s company with us. They range from the fun to the serious, the life changing to the restful and creative.

In the last few years these have included:

  • Being practically taught how to approach, serve and pray for strangers in public, by going out on the streets, having it modelled, then doing it ourselves
  • Sourcing and making nettle tea in the woods
  • A waste food midnight feast
  • A secret doubt garden
  • 12-minute Pursuit Talks from people you’ve never heard of doing things you may never have thought of, with 2-way Q&A that helps us learn together.
  • A secret church service in the woods at midnight where we learned about persecuted Christians around the world, shared communion and interceded for them
  • Morning runs
  • One-to-one coaching for anyone wanting to start new discipleship groups or projects in their neighbourhoods

All for one reason

The beating heart of the community weekend: round-the-clock worship. Worshipping God together in song, prayer and expectancy that he will speak to us together as his children. It’s this quality time with God that is central to who we are. Dance your heart out with DJ-hosted worship in the night hours. Be still before him in the early hours. Fast a mealtime and seek him in the middle of the day. Be courageous, learn to hear his voice, discerning and sharing with others.

All of this works together for an environment in which new things get learned, good friends get made, lives get changed and much fun is had… where we learn the biblical principles that sustain a day to day life of discipleship and most importantly of all, God gets glorified as we worship him with authenticity.

I’ll be honest. When we first began there was a lingering thought in my head. Are we being naive? Is this really too good to be true? But what we experienced that first year and again last year is beginning to convince me… that God has so much more in store for us as a generation. I want to be part of it.

___

– Benedict

P.S. If you’ve got questions before you commit, remember we’re still only a call or a coffee away.