Q&A

Why a movement?

Because anemic Christianity won’t change the world.

Because faithful but empty is simply not sustainable.

Because God passionately longs for us.

Because somehow we have come to view intimacy with God like good weather: it comes and it goes, and it’s out of our control.

Because an invitation echoes through the ages: God asks, In Jeremiah 30.21, “Who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?”

Because something in our gut aches to say yes to intimacy and something in our mind wonders if the invitation is really for us.

Because intimacy with God is attainable. It’s just not accidental.

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Is The 7th Year designed to do solo?

We most often think of intimacy with God in terms of one on one, but faith is lived in the plural, not the singular. Jesus didn’t offer “follow me” as an independent study unit.

So, can you do The 7th Year solo? Yes, but we encourage you to take the journey in community: with friends or as a staff or a small group of colleagues or fellow interns or campus ministry or with a spouse or bible study or entire church family.

If you do prefer solo though, we strongly encourage you to find a spiritual friend or mentor with whom to process the experience. You may want to consult our website for a list of spiritual directors, coaches, and seasoned ministers who are available as 7th Year companions

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Does your community have to be in proximity?

No. In fact, each year Alicia leads a 7th Year Encounter where she provides spiritual direction personally for 20 leaders. Not one this year lived near her. They connect on Google Hangout monthly and Facebook weekly and text when they need extra support. Wrap your community around the planet!

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Where did the name come from?

An unheeded command in the Old Testament:

When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the Lord.

 

(Leviticus 25.1-7)

When we study the biblical passages about the 7th, Sabbath, year, this command contains several challenging components:

  • Rest the land and hear the Law
  • Release slaves and cancel debts
  • Make no profit and give generously

In an agricultural community, such a year would drastically change the fabric of a community. Space would be startling (and space is very telling).

The 7th Year is a focused space, neither extra nor empty, but devoted and healing.

There is something in the name, The 7th Year, that marries hope—a life-giving yet invisible substance—with a participation that is tangible. There is something about the name that fuses a fragrant, timeless mystery with a compelling, timely invitation.

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Who is this designed for, new followers of Jesus or leaders?

Yes…and more.

New followers will get a jump start on healthy, sustainable spirituality through The 7th Year, and they may want to revisit the experience after their faith has been seasoned with time.

Leaders will tangibly see their souls being mentored through The 7th Year because it was created with leaders in mind.

Hungry souls will immediately connect with The 7th Year.

Our hope is that weary souls (who may have decided a while back that the intimacy piece wasn’t in their DNA or they didn’t qualify or it was for certain personalities, so they are just plodding along with low expectations of God’s presence on this side of eternity) will find new spiritual life through The 7th Year as well.

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What does The 7th Year process look like?

The 7th Year process can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Form and Subscribe
    • Form your group, huddle, band of brothers.
    • Subscribe (below) on/around the same day as your group ($7/month or $77/year).
  2. Receive and Process
    • Receive your 52-week experience via email, weekly.
    • Process the 1+ page reading, thought focus, and/or exercise (10-60 min/week—your choice).
  3. Connect and Multiply
    • Connect with your tribe via Facebook or Google Hangout or over coffee.
    • Become a 7th Year Lifer (on Week 52 you receive lifetime access to all the movement creates).
    • Multiply by inviting others into the movement (shoulder-to-shoulder).
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Is there any help for those facilitating a group going through The 7th Year together?

Yes! Videos and facilitator’s guides will soon be available, and the founder will hold Google Hangouts for Q&A.

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How much time are we talking about?

Each week comes with a one-page reading and your choice of responses ranging from a thought focus to creative exercises. Reflective of your season and God’s personal architecting of you, you may prefer to experience The 7th Year daily or set aside one afternoon per week or even one day per month. There’s freedom in the application.

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Over the 52 weeks, what areas are addressed?

The 7th Year consists of eleven movements, so during our year together, we will:

  1. map our journeys to date,
  2. prayerfully design a personal inventory,
  3. reveal and consider the health of our God-concepts & self-concepts,
  4. explore what it means practically to center God’s presence,
  5. get gut-honest about our relationship with the Word,
  6. discover how God uniquely crafted us individually to know him,
  7. explore the discipline of restraint,
  8. craft a theology of time,
  9. consider the purpose of disappointment and grief,
  10. architect a prayer retreat and develop the discipline of Sabbath,
  11. move from “me to we” and determine how intimacy with God affects our generations locally and globally.
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Is there any option for having a spiritual director partner with me?

Yes! Please click here for options. (Coming soon.)

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What’s the take home? How will this affect my life?

The 7th Year has been in beta testing with a group of 15 extraordinary souls the founder is personally mentoring. See what they had to say on our quotes page.

What is the specific end goal?

For event-to-event, feast or famine spiritual living to be overtaken by moment-to-moment intimacy with Jesus. Alumni say they live, lead, love, and follow differently: they bear the fruit of a sustainable spiritual DNA transformation.

 

What are the specific components?

The core of The 7th Year is the weekly e-journey that comes via email as a pdf with an audio version and a linked mini-devotional video. Add-ons include: a week by week suggested book list, facebook or google hangout (for those not in proximity) or face-to-face regularly group interaction, and opening and/or closing prayer retreats.

 

What is hoped to be accomplished?

Communities and our commission are being sabotaged by an anemic faith ever-starved by an insatiable addiction to event-based experience. The 7th Year hits a reset button on our understanding of intimacy with God. We all are committed to living in Christ, yet we spend the vast majority of our days living alone in our heads. Though it sounds poetic, in application The 7th Year makes living in the plural with God intensely practical.

 

And why is it different than anything else?

52 weeks verses 7-12 weeks. The voice is of a spiritual director guiding, not a teacher instructing or a lecturer informing (both of which have value). The 7th Year guides participants through interactive exercises as opposed to assigning homework. The 7th Year is not designed to do solo. It is sustainable beyond the last week because (1) The 7th Year befriends experiences that tend to derail or disillusion Jesus-followers, and (2) alumni are lifetime members and can re-subscribe at any time. The 7th Year emphasizes continuous application that penetrates our core. It’s the difference between a great work-out in a pool and the commitment to wade into an ocean. This video may be helpful. http://vimeo.com/56351808

 

Give a few minute overview on the logistics of a group. For instance, if I had 6 former students in different locales, how could this logistically work?

The 7th Year is IDEAL for those geographically separated who want to stay spiritually connected. All seven of you would (1) decide how often you will connect as a group and by what means (facebook, google, phone conference), (2) all sign up at www.the7thyear.com on the same day, (3) all immediately receive their first week via email and begin your journey.

 

How can a leader who has not been through this see a summary of what is being transferred? And what have you found fruitful as far as a group size?

Please click here for the 52 week summary. (if needed, the password is intentionality). As far as group size, I establish a facebook group for everyone and then create smaller prayer groups within that larger group. My 2012 Mentoring Encounter consisted of 21 incredible souls in six different countries ranging from 28-73 years of age. Their experience was extraordinary. Personally, I prefer small groups of 10-12. One group that has just begun is dividing up their larger group into three facilitator-led groups of ten.

 

What is the cost?

$7/month or $77/year. With alliances we will have a learning curve to see what is feasible for organizations and churches. All suggestions welcome.

 

Where is the accountability in it?

From the opening video to the closing exercise the call to live faith in accountability with others is clarion. The 7th Year is saturated with a call to a faith that is applied in community.

 

Do you have a way of knowing if people in your area are doing this that one might connect locally?

Currently, individuals looking for a group go to The 7th Year facebook page. In time we hope to have some sort of app that can help people see who else in their community is experiencing The 7th Year.

 

Is this video based or totally online without any video?

The 7th Year is flexible. Some groups sign everyone up but then print out their ejourney, make copies, and distribute it to their community. Others are entirely online. The videos are dessert, not the main meal so if someone cannot access the videos, their experience will simply be as I originally intended it to be. It is important for the facilitators to be able to access the online information.

 

 Is this a Bible Study?

 The answer is yes and no. It does include Bible study components, but—with the exception of the fifth movement—not in a traditional sense. It is a systematic, mentoring experience that moves from the interior toward the exterior world in missional outreach.

 

Is it interactive with other in your group? Are you online together? Otherwise, where is the connection?

You receive and digest your ejourney (and the accompanying videos) personally via email, walk through the exercises at your own pace (many of which are interactive), and then you process your experience and application with your tribe online or in-person.