What do you mean, 4 Streams?
In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge credits Saint Bonaventure with identifying this "ever-flowing fountain as a 'great and living river with four channels to water the garden of the entire Church." These life giving streams are Discipleship, Counseling, Healing and Warfare. Most men are only aware of one or two of these terms. Very few of us are immersed or trained in all of the ways that the Life of Christ can come to us or through us. One man may desperately need the clarity that comes from someone trained to listen and offer perspective (Counseling). Another may need to trust that God still speaks to us in our day and that He desires that we 'walk with Him' (Discipleship). If it is true that we live in a world at war, learning to fight is unavoidable (Warfare). In the course of great warfare, everyone, whether or not they acknowledge it, needs deep restoration (Healing).
We prefer to call it Walking with God. We know a lot ABOUT God, but Jesus seemed to focus less on knowing things about God than on knowing His Father and obeying His Father’s voice. Jesus invited his disciples to come alongside him, teaching them how to become followers within a context of close, personal relationship. He now continues to draw us into conversational intimacy with Himself, so that we may become "mature and complete." We believe this model of personal relationship is essential for stepping into maturity in a safe environment where men can share their ideas, questions, struggles and victories.
Throughout Scripture, we see an emphasis on healing as part of Christ's ministry. As beautiful and as powerful as it was, it wasn't the point of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Rather it was the Illustration that His message of the Kingdom of God had power -- and does to this day -- to reach into our everyday lives. Physical healing, yes, but every one of us is in utter need of all kinds of restoration. Every man has experienced what it means to weather life's storms. Everyone has taken a hit. We believe the Gospel's power includes a call for us to contend for increasing levels of wholeness in the midst of a 'world at war'.
We often think of 'counseling' as a clinical experience administered only by professionals. But Jesus did send 'The Counselor' to live within us. And we are in great need of His counsel, because clarity about living this life well often seems elusive. Proverbs 20:5 tells us that, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” The call of every Christian is to walk in community, capable of receiving and giving sound counsel. We need it for our families, our friends and those others who live in our sphere of influence.
The Bible depicts war as the backdrop for all of our days. This misunderstood stream of God’s Life requires a radical shift in our thinking and believing, one that requires us to fight for our own heart and on behalf of others.