“What is the simplest this can be and still be effective?”

Over the last twelve months I’ve found myself asking the question above over and over. I’m exhausted by the realities of day-to-day living during a pandemic, and I’m guessing many families around the world would say the same.

As I was brainstorming what to offer for Lent in Vibrant Church Communications, the question of simplicity was front and center in my thoughts. As my thoughts tumbled around, the rough edges knocked against each other and smoothed into shape: micropractices.

directions for planting seedlings

On the surface, micropractices are simple. They are an action that can usually be taken in the moment or easily done at some point in the day. They follow the three pillars of Lent: praying, fasting, and giving. There’s an additional fourth category called “more” for practices that don’t fit into the first three.

Under the surface, micropractices are beautiful. They remind us of all the places where we can meet God in our daily lives—from breath prayers, to caring for our neighbors, to delighting in creation. They remind us how easy it is to connect to the Divine throughout our day. They remind us that the practice of showing up is the most important practice of all.

At their core, micropractices are all about practicing. There’s a note at the beginning of the booklet that says, “Engage with the practices when and how you can. There is no right or wrong way to do them. You are no more or less holy by doing them all or only a few.” These words are written to all those who are pressed for time or overwhelmed or needing a little grace.

My family of four (kids ages 8 and 11) will try our best with the practices this Lent. I know we’re going to miss a few (or a lot) of days, but our goal isn’t to do each one perfectly. We’ll hit what we can and see what resonates with us. My goal is to mark the practices that do resonate, so we can keep practicing them in the weeks following. How lovely would it be if what was contained in Lent spills out into our daily, messy lives, transforming us bit by bit with their simplicity?

For more information on micropractices, check out Vibrant Church Communications !

Rev. Jo Nygard Owens
Founder, Vibrant Church Communications 
Cleveland, OH


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