A Big Year is a way to intentionally follow Jesus through taking on a set of challenges each month that focus on the big themes of Jesus’ life and teaching.
Jesus of Nazareth was a pretty influential figure in world history and yet he didn’t ever write a book, own a house, lead an army, build a business or anything else that we usually associate with greatness. He is probably most famous for his death and resurrection, but if you can look more deeply for a minute you will realise that there is much more to Jesus’ life and teaching than just those dramatic events.
What Jesus spent most of his time doing was talking about a new way of living and acting that he described as participating in 'the Kingdom of God'. He talked about his dream for changing the world and said that we should live in a way that is contrary to how most people live. He spoke about creating a world where the hungry are fed, the rich share with the poor, those who are first in line go to the back of the line, and those who are always last in line move forward. He also said that we should love each other – including those people who are aggressive toward us, and that this was the Way we should live.
Those doing a Big Year have decided to dedicate a whole year to practice living the Way of Jesus. We will be looking at one of Jesus’ big ideas each month and suggesting practical challenges that people can do in their everyday life to embody this theme.
Jesus’ plan to change the world but that we find it very hard to actually do it. That’s why a Big Year has practical challenges to help you 'act your way into a new way of thinking'.
We dare you to put aside one year to join our College community, to practice acting out the things you say you believe in, and see if your thinking changes in the process.
Challenges are grouped under the categories of ‘Monk’, ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Activist’. These three characters represent different relationships Jesus was calling his followers to develop and we suggest that people select at least one challenge from each category.
Monk - represents the individual’s relationship to God. These challenges are designed to help people consider what each theme means for them personally.
Cheerleader - represents the individual’s relationship to those close to them who are also trying to follow Jesus. These challenges are designed to help people encourage those in the small group around them who are on the same journey.
Activist - represents the individual’s relationship to the wider community and the world at large. These challenges are design to help you consider how you can join Jesus on his quest to put the world back together.