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The goal of this paper is to help North American Church leaders stake a claim to postmodern faith by focusing on the celebrity and centrality of Christ and then calling, growing, maturing, and guiding believers into their own God-inspired journeys in the way of Christ. The postmodern Church’s decline, leadership crisis, and celebrity culture call forth a renewed emphasis on the Christ story as an ancient faith pilgrimage in order to help people mature and become leaders through the use of a new twelve-step path in the way of Christ. Many churched and unchurched pilgrims find themselves stuck in earlier stages of arrested spiritual development, unable to sustain growth, attain maturity as leaders, and finish their life well—thereby releasing their God-given gifts, passion, and destiny. A more dynamic and visual path of faith pilgrimage is required to capture interest and garner support from postmodern seekers of spirituality.
The Twelve Steps in the Way of Christ draw on ancient pilgrimage and allegoric models, as well as Scripture and the life of Christ, to provide a clear understanding and direction for Christian followers and leaders. Both linear and cyclical, the steps offer distinctive ways to measure spirituality and a useful template for spiritual and leadership development yet allow enough room for one’s unique imprint and individual personality, life experience, and journey of faith. Today’s church leaders who seek to form faith in tangible, relational, and visual ways that appeal to postmoderns of the next generation will find the Twelve Steps a valuable tool and marker for spiritual assessment. The answer to the North American Church’s dilemma lies not in higher forms of worship or more sophisticated programs but in returning to the well-trod paths of becoming a people of pilgrimage and following the steps first made by the Son of God.
Content Reader: Craig Miller, DMin
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Brant, Steven H., "Twelve Steps in the Way of Christ: A Postmodern Path for Spiritual Formation and Leadership Development" (2011). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 48.