Gem and Alan Fadling are founders of Unhurried Living, Inc., a non-profit that resources and trains Christian leaders to rest deeper, live fuller, and lead better. Gem is a trained spiritual director, retreat speaker, and podcaster, and she enjoys serving as a guide, with the intention of helping people encounter God in their very real lives. Alan is also a trained spiritual director and he speaks and consults internationally with organizations such as Saddleback Church, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Open Doors International. He is the award-winning author of An Unhurried Leader and An Unhurried Life, which was honored with a Christianity Today Award of Merit in spirituality.
You can find Gem & Alan on:
Or check out their work at unhurriedliving.com.
What Does Your Soul Love? by Gem & Alan Fadling
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
The Essence of Unhurried Living (Podcast)
Chapter 1 - Discipleship is Becoming Who You Were Meant to Be
You are a beloved child of God. We talk about that a lot, but it's not truly understood by the majority of Christians. One of the biggest challenges facing every Christian is the struggle to grasp our identity as valued and loved children of God. But this is really the starting point of all discipleship. We put the cart in front of the horse though and believe our transformation is the starting point of the Christian life. We may not always claim it's a pre-condition to getting into heaven. But we do think and act in ways that show we want to prove we are worth something so that God will continue to accept us. The irony is that we miss God's open arms as we run around trying to prove he should open them to us. Brennan Manning said, To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means." When we put up our facades and attempts to prove our own worth, we often end up hiding our flaws and our messiness in the process. But when we truly see God's love for us that doesn't begin when we get our lives cleaned up, we begin to see ourselves in a different light. We begin to see ourselves as masterpieces. In this chapter, Gem and Alan unpack what it means to live a lifestyle of discipleship from a place of love. And it's from that place that transformation begins to occur.
Chapter 2 - 8 Questions That Can Transform Your Life
As we talked about yesterday with Gem and Alan Fadling, knowing who we are in Christ is crucial for us if we are to genuinely grow in our relationship with Him. But what happens if you realize your motives are wrong? If you are honest with yourself, you will recognize that your desire to grow is at least in part motivated by a desire to measure up to the expectations of God and others so you can earn their approval. So that’s why in this chapter we talk to Gem and Alan about the 8 questions from their book, What Does Your Soul Love? These 8 questions become a guide to help you evaluate your motives and a tool for realigning your heart to the heart of God.
Chapter 3 - You Don't Have the Power to Change
What's the lifestyle of discipleship really about? Is it something we have to do? Something we have to learn? Or is it simply something we get to participate in as we stay close to God in the everyday moments of life? We can get so caught up in trying to transform ourselves that we often forget Jesus is the one who began the work in our lives and will also be the one to transform us. If this is true, the lifestyle of discipleship really becomes a life of staying beside Jesus, especially when we mess up. This isn't a passive role though. It simply recognizes that we are not the ones with the power to transform. In this chapter, Gem and Alan unpack the secret to living a life of transformation. It's not about doing something. Instead, it's all about letting go of your attempts to fix things on your own and allowing God to be the one who does the transformation.
Chapter 4 - Two People Sharing a Transformational Journey
This week we’ve taken a deep dive into exploring our identities in Christ, our desires, and our deepest loves. But most of our conversation has focused on the individual journey. So in this chapter Josh and I wanted to ask how this journey of transformation has affected Gem and Alan’s marriage. Because living a lifestyle of discipleship is never lived in isolation. We were created to walk with others. For those who are married, our spouse becomes our primary partner in this journey. But if searching the depths of our souls is difficult for an individual, exploring with another person can complicate this process even more. There are miscommunications and misunderstandings. We often talk past each other and can become frustrated with the process. However, the reward for a shared journey far exceeds the struggle. Our partners become an invaluable source of encouragement and support as we face the trials of life together and endeavor to lift each other up as we pursue Christ.
Chapter 5 - Learning to Understand our Identity and Motives
At the end of it all, there's really only one thing that matters: Are you a child of God? If this is true, and you really grab hold of this, everything else in the lifestyle of discipleship will flow from this. Understanding your identity is vital, but it also allows you to plumb the depths of your soul to find out what you really love, to find what motivates you. This can be a daunting task and painful at times, but it's worth every moment. This week's conversation with Gem and Alan Fadling has been incredibly rich. So in this final chapter, Chris and Josh unpack some of the highlights for them.