If you are someone who is feeling drawn to a time of solitude and silence and yet cannot begin to imagine how this could happen for you, this is your book. Ruth Haley Barton begins by writing that she did not know where to start either,and uses her learned experience toguide you into new depths in your relationship with Jesus. The book also recognizes the negative effects of being “dangerously tired,” and provides a “Practice” section at the end of each chapter that will usher you into a time of silence as you ponder the content. The book’s appendix also includes a self-help guide in the appendix for spending a personal day in solitude, and group guide for shared solitude.
This is an excellent resource for pastors and church planters. Begin by watching the 35-minute video story of American pastor, Matt Canlis, who moves to a small town in Scotland to discover what it means to live the Jesus life in a church or ‘parish’. The video includes interviews with Eugene Peterson and N.T. Wright who mentored Matt and encouraged him to live at Godspeed. Then, move on to the 7 videos that companion the chapters in the study guide which is formatted for small group participation. Chapters in the book include: Place, Presence, Pace, Identity, Stability, Names, and Mission. You will be drawn into the small village of Methlick and fall in love with the people who have lived there all their lives, moving at God’s pace — 3 MPH — and learn the value of ’slowing down to catch up with God.’ This resource can also be used for small groups within the church who are desiring spiritual transformation.