12 Marks of a New Monasticism

The other day I was asked to come share at Redeemer University about what the face of New Monasticism looks like in Hamilton. It’s can be tricky trying to describe what GOHOP is and does. Prayer is at the heart, of course, but there is so much more going on than what happens in the prayer room.

A few years ago, Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove and a bunch of other New Monastics gathered and produced a document that outlined common themes and practices that they saw emerging in the House of Prayer/New Monastic movement. They called this the 12 Marks of a New Monasticism, and they expanded on it in the book entitled School(s) for Conversion: the 12 Marks of Mew Monasticism

Here’s what they are:

1) Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire.

2) Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.

3) Hospitality to the stranger

4) Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation.

5) Humble submission to Christ’s body, the church.

6) Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate.

7) Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.

8) Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children.

9) Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life.

10) Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.

11) Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18.

12) Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life.

I used these 12 Marks to map out the life and ethos of GOHOP. We don’t practice all 12, for many of the marks, our practice is in it’s infancy, is very experimental and undeveloped. But I’ve found that it is a framework that is helpful to broaden people’s understanding of our House of Prayer.

Over the next month I will expand on each of the marks that we are presently practicing, and paint a picture for you of our life together.


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