Otherlyness the spirituality of serving others

No religion elevates serving others above its’ beliefs

That’s why we recite The Apostles Creed not The Apostles Deeds

When it comes to religion, practices are optional while beliefs are critical.

  • Propositions trump practice
  • Orthodoxy trumps orthopraxy
  • Certainty trumps curiosity

We consider it rude to ask others what they’re doing about their beliefs.

Instead we ask what they believe and then decide if we can fellowship with them.

“It is less important to ask a Christian what he or she believes about the Bible than it is to inquire what he or she does with it” Leslie Newbigen – Proper Confidence 

I no longer think of God as a religious being – interested in rituals, bells, smells, hats and buildings.

I have come to believe that God has never paid the tiniest bit of attention to any religion ever, especially the ones (and there are many) that claim an exclusive relationship with God.

Many of us find ourselves defending a religion we don’t identify with. We feel trapped in a historical convergence. The only thing we know for sure is that we believe in Jesus, his story and we want others to experience him, as well. We feel no need to defend the “historic claims of Christianity,” but we do feel passionate about trying to live a life that attempts to imitate the values and practices of the founder of our movement. We want his story to be told through us.

The desire to tell this story in public has led us to form a new movement called Otherlyness – the spiritual practice of serving. This work resonates with us on the deepest level. It energizes us and pulls us into a future that will make the way of Jesus publicly known.

Otherlyness is revolutionary not evolutionary.

Otherlyness provides the common ground where religious and non-religious people can meet. Because is has no beliefs anyone can participate. It is designed to respond to the innate way humans learn “We do what we see not what you say”

Many Christians and non-Christians already participate in Otherlyness without calling it that. They serve in big as well as small ways. We simply want to encourage more of this behavior. We want followers of Jesus to be well known for practicing Otherlyness. We want them invite others to intentionally practice the spirituality of serving others

Providing a framework called Otherlyness, encourages people to do more of what they’re already doing. It makes serving others in small doable ways concrete and legitimate – not a side project

Following in the way of Jesus does not require belief in Jesus or God. You don’t need a higher power to practice Otherlyness. Many of us however have developed a confidence in and dependence upon the God who is Otherly. We attempt to live as if it’s true.

What do practitioners of Otherlyness do?

Three Practices

  1. Practice being unusually interested in others
  2. Practice staying in the room with difference
  3. Stop comparing your best with their worst


Jim Hancock