The New Hope Way: 5x5 (NH5x5) offers a way to connect with God that is deep and present in every aspect of our lives. It applies time-tested practices to our modern world to people live fruitful and fulfilled lives. They increase our capacity for joy and open us to the presence and power of God in our everyday lives.
NH:5x5 is built on:
Five Core Strengths,
Five Essential Habits.
Five Core Strengths:
It may help to think of these Core Strengths like the trunk of a tree. Without a strong trunk, the tree can't support much fruit nor withstand the storms of life. As the trunk gets stronger, so does the health of the tree and the reach of its branches. A flourishing life depends on developing the Five Core Strengths.
Purpose: People who flourish have a strong sense of purpose in their lives. To the extent they have a strong "Why?" for their lives, they are able to withstand- and even grow through, any storm or and conditions that shape the "How?" of their lives.
People: No one flourishes alone. People who describe their lives as joyous and abundant invariably have a group of people who are committed to each other's growth and well-being. It doesn't have to be many, but these are the people we trust with our best hopes and deepest wounds, even as they trust us.
Profile: A strong sense of purpose starts with an awareness and appreciation of their own life. h They know and claim their unique gifts, talents, and passions. They understand that even (especially?) the hardest experiences of their lives are not wasted, but are part of what has made them who they are and what they can offer the world.
Place: People who flourish in life don't try to do everything. They don't have to. They know where their unique gifts and deep joys, intersect with the great needs of the world. They focus on those places and allow others to do the same.
Practice: Knowledge and good intentions only take us so far. Fruitful and fulfilled people have discovered the practices that nurture their own soul. They know (sometimes from painful experience) how essential spiritual practices are to a life that flourishes through all the seasons of life.
What can strengthen the trunk, nurture our roots and increase the fruitfulness of our lives? I believe there are...
Five Essential Habits:
- Daily Gratitude: What are five things in which you can rejoice and give thanks from this day? Gratitude is a powerful way to open yourself to God's work all around you.
- Daily Generosity: What are five acts of generosity that you offered to others? Acts of generosity include: time, praise, attention, encouragement, money, energy, or? Everyone's answers will be different because everyone knows what it will mean for them to be more generous than usual. Determine to create five such "acts" each day and see the cumulative effect around and within you! Together, the habits of Gratitude and Generosity make up the "Daily 5x5"
- Weekly Nurture: What nurtures your soul? What helps ground you in the love and presence of Christ? What do you do to tend your "roots"? Once you know what these are (and we can help with that!), be sure to employ them five* times a week.
- Monthly Service: Where do your unique gifts, passions, and experiences intersect with the needs of the world? Give yourself to that good work for five hours a month.
- Annual Giving: Set aside 5% of your annual income to be used for the cause of Christ. You decide where that is. Some do much more and some do less. If you aren't already in the habit of giving a percentage of your income, start here.
NH:5x5 is NOT about making us more accepted or loved by God. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more- or less. That is already settled. The point of NH:5x5 is to help you love God and others, better. It is about receiving the love of God and being a channel through whom God loves the world.
*There is nothing magical about the number "five." I use it because it is easy to remember and a good place to start. Many people already exceed these "fives" in one or more categories. If that is you, you will enjoy the challenge of expanding that number. If you find "five" to be too daunting in one or more category, scale it back and start with something more manageable. It is not the exact number that is essential, but the intent to develop meaningful habits.