The Challenges are activities that we do that either serve as a spiritual discipline or as a means to better understand ourselves and our culture.

This is really hard to explain, but it’s my favorite part of the Well. Challenges are activities that we invite each other. Let me give you a brief history and see if that helps. It started on a missions trip. I went to Lepisk Russia to help at a camp and the campers came with 4 or 5 outfits for a 10 day camp. I’ve gone with my youthgroup to Hume lake where some students bring literally 4 or 5 suitcases of clothing. The Russian teens looked nicer than any of us and they lived on much simpler clothes. This began to open a door that the way I was dressing could be scrutinized and I like to examine stuff. After many conversations, bold friend of mine proposed a challenge. For one month we would chose only 5 pieces of clothing (one short sleeve, one long sleave, on short, one pant, one sweatshirt). For the whole month we would wear only those clothes.

Entering the challenge I thought that my eyes had already been opened to my over-consumerism, but the challenge gave me a whole new perspective. I learned so much that month. Some day I will post about it. What is important is that we both grew so much we wanted to try more fun things like that. Over the next year-and-a-half we have and we have just LOVED it.  My next favorite challenge was the porridge challenge. That challenge was simple: “Most of the world eats mostly porridge (of one form or another) for food. We want to identify with them as our brothers and sisters so we will eat mostly porridge.”  My whole family got into it and we had a blast.

Examples and Ideas for Challenges:

  • Read your bible in a month
  • Porridge Challenge (eat mostly porridge for the month)
  • Clothing Challenge (5 pieces)
  • Fasting
  • Silence

You will see that there are no ‘rules’ around the challenges. Every person lives them differently. For instance what it means to eat “mostly” porridge meant 1 cup of non porridge for some and it meant eating porridge for every breakfast for others. We especially long for some challenges from some women. So far it’s been mostly a guys thing so c’mon women.

For a better understanding of my thoughts on challenges check out the article on wisdom as sport.

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