A Trekker Learns Lectio Divina

Trek is a program of Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International (MBMSI), the global mission agency of Mennonite Brethren churches in Canada. Here is their description of Trek:

Disciples who make disciples

TREK is our most intense short term mission opportunity, designed to help you learn, grow and serve. Our vision is for “Disciples who make disciples.” You will partner with our international missionary teams as they engage in holistic church planting that transforms communities among the least reached. This opportunity is for mature Christians who want to go further in their relationship with God, and broader in their understanding of the global church. If you desire to be real with God, inspired in the company of hard-core believers, serve in overseas missions, and be stretched in exciting and lasting ways, TREK may be the direction for you.


Here is how one Trekker is growing and learning a broader understanding (November 2010):

A Trekker’s book list:

I have spent a good chunk of time over the past two months of training reading. So to share with you part my TREK journey thus far here is a list of the books I’ve been reading (or will be reading):
Solo, An Uncommon Devotional: The title pretty much speaks for itself; has helped me a lot in meeting God in new ways through Lectio Divina
• Steve Klassen – Studies in the Book of Mark: Steve has been a big part of TREK training by taking us on a journey through Mark, leading us in discipleship lessons, running our silent retreat, and he has a hazlenut orchard that we’ve worked on a couple times.
• Claiborn & Perkins – Follow Me to Freedom: I picked this one up at the suggestion of a friend who has lead me in the past; it has powerful words about radical Godly leadership (just up my alley!)
• Rhodes – …Catholics: This was a random I picked up in hopes to learn a bit more about Catholics, what they believe in, and how I respond (a large majority of Portugal is traditionally Catholic)

Book #1:
This Trekker is correct. The ancient method of Roman Catholic practice of prayer called Lectio Divina certainly will be learned by reading The Message//REMIX Solo: An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson, as its description states:

Bask in God’s presence as you read, think, pray, and live his Word! Calling you to the ancient practice of lectio divina, “divine reading” Peterson offers more than 365 devotions featuring selected passages from The Message, reflection questions, prayer suggestions, and life applications. His guided meditations will help you better understand yourself and the God who created you. 304 pages, paperback from NavPress.

Book #2:
This Trekker’s choice of Shane Claiborne’s Follow Me To Freedom doesn’t appear to be required reading for Trekkers, but is still an alarming choice for anyone going into missions. The following (from pages 204, 205) is only one example where this book reveals its ecumenical, emerging church slant:

“We need the fire of the Pentecostals. We need the roots of the Catholics and the Orthodox…we need the politics of the Anabaptists and the Grace of the Quakers…and to celebrate the good and try to reproduce it.
My friend Phyllis Tickle…says that every few hundred years the church needs a rummage sale.”

Book #3:
It’s not a surprise to see Steve Klassen’s book on this Trek book list, since Trekkers spend time at the contemplative Mark Centre for part of their training, where Steve Klassen is the director/founder of the Mennonite Brethren contemplative Mark Centre, where pastors, church leaders and missionaries are taught ancient Roman Catholic contemplative prayer methods.

Book #4:
Ironically, the last book choice for this Trekker on Roman Catholicism by Ron Rhodes does not go together with the views of the other selections at all since it is contrary to their messages, but it just may be the wisest. Hopefully by reading this one, the Trekker will learn to question and counter the falsehoods he is learning in the rest of his Trek reading choices regarding Roman Catholicism.

The question that must be asked, simply because if Menno Simons were here today, he would ask it, is the following.

Is this what all Mennonite Brethren Mission and Service International Trekkers are learning as their understanding of the global church is broadened?

Unfortunately, the answer may be a shocking – yes.


Lectio Divina: What it is, What it is Not, and Why It is a Dangerous Practice


2 thoughts on “A Trekker Learns Lectio Divina

  1. Well, I’m actually not suprised at all with this disconnected literature.

    The more I’m around MB leaders, the more I realize just how epically disconnected and strangely compartmentalized our theology is from the top down. Sadly, there’s not a lot that can be down when the problem of inconsistent and confused instruction infects every bone in the body.

    Doctrine is not important; relationships are.

    Depth is not important; growth is.

    Consistency is not important; conviction is.

    Exegesis is not important; relevance is.

    We don’t have a clue where we’re going, but we’re sure in a rush to get there.

  2. Pingback: Menno-lite Prayer in the New Year | Menno-lite

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