07 November 2006

Spiritual Formation: Training for ministry

How ya doin'? No, really? Got the God thing right, or do ya just look good on the outside?
Superficial religiosity won't get it when you're isolated, culturally fatigued and frustrated with your co-workers.

" . . . missing is the recognition that soul cultivation goes before institution building. How do you grow large, healthy, and authentic churches (the current rage) without growing the soul of a leader, which sustains the effort over the long haul?

A second impression: the dreadful casualty list of men and women who do not make it to a tenth anniversary in Christian ministry. Burnout, failure, disillusionment are exacting a terrible toll. I'm amazed how many ministers just disappear, drop off the edge.

A third: the constant conversations I have with younger men and women who confide that they are spiritually dry, unmotivated, despairing, and wondering what to do about it.

. . .
Saint Paul's words to Timothy are too easily ignored in this high-pitched, high-casualty leadership lifestyle of ours: "Train yourself to be godly … godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" (1 Tim. 4:7-8) I smell spiritual formation in these remarks.

The forming of the soul that it might be a dwelling place for God is the primary work of the Christian leader. This is not an add-on, an option, or a third-level priority. Without this core activity, one almost guarantees that he/she will not last in leadership for a life-time or that what work is accomplished will become less and less reflective of God's honor and God's purposes." Gordon MacDonald

What do you do to maintain that intimacy with God that will see you steadfast & vibrant, no matter what Satan throws at you? Tell us so we can learn. Comment below.



Blogger Mich said...

I just had a lengthy discussion with a longtime college friend about her new relationship. She just remarried. She and her first husband were serving overseas when things began to go south with their relationship. We were sharing in each others past experiences when I asked her about some other friends from college who had married and were doing mission work, she said they had split up. I did not ask for details. What can we do to guard our lives, our marriages, our thoughts so that satan can not even peek into our hearts?
We must work hard daily to guard our hearts and minds to stay in His will and bring as many along with us as possible.

9:47 PM  

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