Draft your own Small Things covenant

Drafting a covenant

What would it look like for you to start (or re-start) twelve Christian practices, informed by the movement known as New Monasticism? How could your small practices translate your original vision into where you are right now?

Twelve small things, one each month, building cumulatively over a year.

Some advice from folks who’ve done this before:  

  • Pray about and for the people you’ll be partnering with, this covenant, and all the ways God will work throughout your small practices.
  • Pick a month to start. There’s nothing magical about the start date.
  • Feel free to move around topics, edit some out, and replace or tweak others. This will become your covenant!
  • Draft the covenant together with your covenantal friends.
  • Pull out this document when you meet to help steer the conversation back to these two questions: “How is it going with ______?” and “What’s next for you?”


Our draft follows (below) for you to edit for your own contexts.

Ready to dive in? Let’s do this!


The Year of Small Things: An experiment in small but radical changes, to embrace the way of Jesus, right where we are.

The challenge: To discern one small change, in each of the following areas, that we can embrace or reclaim over the course of the next year. (For the full descriptions of each practice, please refer to our book, The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us.)


August: Building Community: Relationships that set the expectation of transparency and the boundaries required for sharing our Year of Small Things.

September: Hospitality: New Monasticism is straight-forward about welcoming the “other.”

October: Radical Finances: Rejecting the American Dream. Period.

November: Reclaiming Spiritual Disciplines: Practicing shared spiritual practices in our lives.

December: Stuff: How can you fight the lie that more stuff equals happiness or even love?

January: Time Out of Mind: How do we fit these small practices alongside our already full calendars? How can we ensure we’re providing ourselves time to rest?

February: Renewing Vows: Protecting commitments in marriage or singleness for the building up of the whole community.

March: Planted in the Church: Accountability and connection to the larger story are two reasons we need the church and the church needs New Monastics, even those in suburbia.

April: Kid Monasticism: We affirm that kids can serve God in radical ways too.  

May: Sustaining Creation: Consider ways to reignite the energy it takes to live as sustainers of God’s creation.

June: Unselfish Self-care: How is taking care of yourself (your health, your exercise, your sleep, your diet, your down-time) a way of attending to the overall health of the community?

July: Just Living: We ask, how might God be calling us to act for change in the world?


Drafted in August/September 2014 by:

Sarah and Tom Arthur, Micah and Sam

Erin and Dave Wasinger, Alice, Violet and Louisa


Reviewed by David and Rebecca Arthur of Isaiah House of Hospitality.

© Sarah Arthur and Erin F. Wasinger, 2017. For private use only.