Spiritual Practices That Shape Us: Are They a Part of Your Life?
All of us need to deepen our walk with God. As a church pastor, it is essential that our staff model true spirituality to those under our care. We are essentially called to seek Him above all else (Ps. 27:4), that is, to be contemplatives, out of which we carry out our active ministry. At the same time, we recognize God has called us to a level of intensity to bring Jesus Christ to our city and world through serving in different roles as a pastoral staff at New Life Fellowship Church.
So here are a few essentials for us as a staff and hopefully will transform your spiritual walk with God.
1. Scripture – Our lives are built on the Word of God. It is our food and primary means of revelation from Him. We spend time each day in Scripture, seeking God’s face, dwelling in His presence and praying out of His Word.
2. Silence and Solitude –We spend at least one full day a month in silence with God. (Note: We eventually moved to choosing the third Wednesday of each month for this. Each person goes to a place outside their home, whether it is a beach, a local retreat center, or a park, to be alone with God for the day. The one requirement is not to do the work of church on that day, but to be with God.)
3. Daily Office – We pause to be with God two to three times a day to remember Him, spending time in communion with Him, preferably with Scripture, silence, meditation and prayer.
4. Study – We are consistently growing and taking steps to keep learning.
5. Sabbath – Each week, we set aside a 24 hour period to keep Sabbath to the Lord, structuring our time around the following four characteristics of biblical Sabbaths – Stop, Rest, Delight and Contemplate.
6. Simplicity – We model percentage giving (using the tithe as a minimal guideline) in giving to God’s work here at NLF.
7. Play and Recreation – We have a life outside of New Life Fellowship for balance and health.
8. Service and Mission – Another critical issue for healthy service is having clear and realistic expectations. Together with our supervisors and the elder board, we regularly update our job descriptions and goals in order to meet these challenges.
9. Care for the Physical Body – We seek to regularly care for our physical temples through healthy eating habits, consistent exercise, and sufficient amounts of sleep, respecting our God-given limits.
10. Emotional Health – We embrace emotionally healthy skills and behaviors that put feet on our theology to love well (1 Cor. 13).
11. Family – We believe in the equal value of God’s call to both singleness and marriage. We affirm with Scripture the gift of singleness for leadership (1 Cor.7:25-40). We desire high-quality marriages, out of which we are able to minister to others.
12. Community – We encourage all staff members to be in relationships with mature people outside NLF; these relationships might be with a spiritual director, a mentor, a counselor or a mature friend, depending on each person’s unique needs and season in God.
How else have you seen leadership teams model integrity and transformation for their churches?
www.emotionallyhealthyspirituality.com. Used by permission.