The plan for looking at Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline as a Church

There is a phrase I use when leading at Communion. I often say, “come to this table because you love the Lord a little and would like to love Him more”. It’s a great invitation. We don’t have to have it all together to come to the Lord. 

I’ve had a sense the same can apply to the spiritual disciplines. It comes from a spark of longing for God, a spark that we can kindle and delight in as we draw closer to God. 

Richard Foster says the following in his introduction: “In one important sense, the spiritual disciplines are not hard. We need not be well advanced in matters of theology to practise the disciplines. Recent converts – for that matter people who have yet to turn their lives to Jesus Christ – can and should practise them. The primary requirement is longing after God. ‘As a heart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God,’ writes the Psalmist (Ps.42:1,2)” 

Let’s, with this book and the disciplines it introduces us to start little but know that it all leads us to something far grander: a closer walk with the living Lord.  

If you’d like to you could look out an old copy or buy a second hand one online and use it as a resource to help foster our faith. Maybe you will zip through the whole book or maybe you will delve into just one of the disciplines. Either is fine! 

To supplement this, and to serve as a ‘standalone’ resource and insight we are going to look at some of the disciplines on Sunday mornings during Lent by exploring passages from the bible that touch on these given topics. We won’t get to all the Spiritual Disciplines, so with others we’ll look at ways we can consider and explore them. On the home page for this we will have a table which, over the course of Lent and beyond, we’ll aim populate with resources that can be used and shared.  

I get the sense that this might be a ‘slow burn’ kind of project so if you’d like to be kept up to date when we post something new contact me and I can put you on an ‘update list’.  

Even if just one of these Spiritual Disciplines takes you from ‘loving the Lord a little’ to loving Him more then this will have been profitable! 

Two brief housekeeping matters though before I finish: 

  1. As a bit of fun, perhaps we could have a competition for the oldest copy that someone has of the book. My one is from a friend at it was published in 1989. We could also have a competition for the cheapest copy found online (including postage!) 
  1. If you have insight into any of these spiritual disciplines, I’d love to hear from you – whether it is something you have found useful or perhaps even something you have found hard. Perhaps your experience could help others? 

I look forward to sharing more. 

God Bless 

Stuart Irvin, February 2024 

Torrance Parish Church

Torrance Parish Church, 1 School Road, Torrance,  Glasgow, G64 4BZ

Telephone: 01360 620970. Email: