Quest

Q4 Spiritual Quest: 90 Days of Spiritual Renewal

The Q4 Quest is a program designed for the last three months of 2021 (thus “the fourth quarter,” or Q4). But you can begin at any time. It is a program built around six spiritual practices at the heart of the Christian faith. To participate, make a commitment to adopt the six practices below for the next 90 days. Keep track of what happens in your life. You will be amazed at the experience of spiritual renewal you will find.

Why the Q4 Spiritual Quest? Why Now?

We need renewal right now, more than ever. In the wake of the pandemic and deep social divisions in our country, many people are struggling.

The times we are living in are increasingly characterized by (a) distrust and disillusionment with virtually all our institutions, (b) an exploding pandemic of mental health issues (especially anxiety, addiction, and depression), and (c) an implosion of peoples’ inner worlds. Even many people who seem healthy enough to avoid diagnosable “addictions” still find the need to cope with life’s overwhelming challenges through escapism — “mass distraction” fueled by video games, movies, TV, and social media. We need to take deliberate and focused action in order to avoid getting sucked into the divisions, dysfunction, and distractions of our world.

We need God. But more to the point of this Q4 Quest: we need help maintaining our awareness of, and conscious contact with God. That is where the practices of the quest come in. Below you’ll find an overview of the practices, and links to more resources about them.

Practice 1: Time with God — Daily Time with God

We will take time in the morning to listen to God before we pay attention to the world, as it comes to us on TV, social media, email, and radio. We will spend time each morning reading a passage of Scripture, meditating on its application for our lives, and praying to God. In the evening, we will express gratitude and turn over any worries to God before we go to sleep.

Practice 2: Worship — Weekly Reorientation of our Lives Through Church Worship

We become like the things we think about and venerate. From Monday to Saturday, our world pushes us to focus on and look up to people, ideas, and things that, at best, are powerless to meet our real needs; and at worst, turn us away from God and towards evil. We need the reorientation that takes place from gathering to worship God in the company of others. In worship we offer our songs, gifts, and prayers, and hear God’s Word spoken and applied.

We commit to worship every week, and on the Sundays we miss, we will access the video recording of the service. This has been a non-negotiable, all-in commitment of Christians since the founding of the church in the New Testament. The current lack of commitment to consistent worship in the West is unique to our time, and very much related to the decline of peoples’ well-being.

Practice 3: Discipleship Group — Regular Involvement in a Group

Our need for support, encouragement, and accountability as followers of Christ cannot be met simply from the casual interactions that happen in our Sunday worship services. We need deeper connections with others in some kind of smaller group that focuses on helping us grow.

We commit ourselves to participating in such a group.

Practice 4: Stewardship — Living for a Higher Purpose

We will cultivate the awareness that our time on earth is short, and that we are stewards who will give an account to God for how we manage our time and money. These are acts of worship: every time we give, we demonstrate to God, others, and ourselves who is number one in our lives. These resources — our money and time — make great servants, but terrible masters.

We commit to serving God and others with a set amount of our time and our income. We are intentional about this and plan it, rather than simply giving the “leftovers” of our lives.

Practice 5: Missional Living — Overcoming Self-Absorption

Our calling is to love our neighbors and take the Gospel to our community. Our tendency is to turn in on ourselves, and make church — and our lives — about us, rather than the mission of building God’s Kingdom.

We commit to thinking and living like missionaries: (a) viewing our neighborhood and our social networks as a mission field, and (b) regularly praying for, and reaching out to the handful of people in our lives who don’t have a meaningful connection to a spiritual community. Whether or not they ultimately join a community, let alone the one you invite them into, you continue to show love to them. They are your mission field, not your “project.”

Practice 6: Community — Loving Communication

Jesus said that the world will know we are his disciples, if we love one another (John 13:35). This is how we make our faith real. Tragically, churches are often known as places of conflict, judgment, and “churning” (people moving around from church to church, because they can’t accept the imperfections they see, or get along with the people). This is becoming especially problematic today, as “the world” is training us to isolate into like-minded tribes, and write off others, rather than seek to learn from them.

We commit to do our part to overcome the things that break down spiritual community: gossip, complaining, and divisiveness. We do this by establishing a commitment to honest and loving communication with one another. This plays out in two ways: (1) refraining from complaining about and criticizing people who are not present, and (2) practicing “non-violent communication” when we have a disagreement or communication breakdown with someone.