Understanding Sabbath as a Lifestyle

If you are like me, you have spent the better part of your ministry career living with some level of guilt about not observing Sabbath, at least in a traditional and legalistic understanding of Sabbath. Like most ministers, throughout my ministry I have worked a minimum of 5 days and more times than not 6 or even 7 days a... Continue Reading

Slowing to the Speed of Soul

Recently I met with a group of church educators and the topic of discussion was soul care. Soul, not in the sense of that part of us that is eternal, but rather that part of us that is our spiritual essence that longs to be in relationship with God. The group concurred that one of their biggest challenges was to... Continue Reading

Don’t Neglect The Relational Side of Your Soul Care

Dr. Wayne Grudem, noted biblical scholar, professor, and author, shares an experience that may provide insight into what seems to be an epidemic of moral, ethical, and leadership failures of prominent Christian pastors, denominational leaders, politicians and church staff. While working on the translation for the English Standard Version of the Bible, Grudem along with dozens of scholars worked round... Continue Reading

Changing The Message Mix For Greater Spirituality And Transformation

One of the leading reasons people give for leaving the church is the behavior of Christians. When Christians are viewed as hypocritical, self-righteous, judgmental, lacking compassion, unloving or no different from the world then the church suffers. These behaviors by people who profess to be Christian point to a lack of emphasis on personal spirituality, soul care, and the inner... Continue Reading

Spiritual Practice: Imaginative Meditation

Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Society of Jesus, wrote a classic devotional book called “Spiritual Exercises.” In this book, he commends a specific approach to prayer that emphasizes the use of the imagination as a way of praying. Instead of reciting words to Jesus, you take a Gospel story and visualize the story in your mind’s eye including all... Continue Reading

Steps To Develop A Contemplative Dimension To Church Life

In recent posts we explored the differences between contemplative and evangelical streams of Christianity. Here are several ideas that I think every church can reflect on, and hopefully, implement — as steps the congregation can take to foster a contemplative dimension to their community life. This will not happen overnight (among other things, we have our cultural bias against silence... Continue Reading

Part II: Contemplative-Mystical Christianity Compared to Mainstream-Evangelical Christianity: A Comparison in Language, Emphasis, and Perspective

In our last post we looked at a comparison of the language, emphases and practices between Evangelical Christianity and Contemplative-Mystical Christianity. In this post we share 11 additional comparisons.  I share once again some introductory comments. A Definition Of Each Movement Mainstream Evangelicalism Definition:  A movement within Protestant Christianity maintaining that the essence of the gospel consists in the doctrine... Continue Reading

Contemplative-Mystical Christianity Compared to Mainstream-Evangelical Christianity: A Comparison in Language, Emphasis, and Perspective

In recent years I have come across two types of evangelical Christians who are interested in contemplative-mystical Christianity: Some are actively practicing evangelical Christians in their local church but frustrated by what they perceive as the lack of spiritual nurturing taking place. Often this is expressed as a feeling of being stuck in their spiritual growth and as desire to... Continue Reading

Do’s and Don’ts for a Ministers Spiritual Retreat Day

What is a spiritual retreat day? A concise definition is “a planned day away from work to focus exclusively on your personal spiritual life – your heart, soul, and mind.” The beginning of a new year is a good time to schedule a personal spiritual retreat day. In the article 15 Ways To Make A Personal Spiritual Retreat Meaningful we... Continue Reading

Spiritual Practice: Imaginative Meditation

The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to challenge yourself to engage in spiritual practices that are new to you. The practice below, Imaginative Meditation, is an ancient practice that today is finding a new audience. Read on and try integrating it into the spiritual practices and disciplines that you engage in on a regular basis. Ignatius of... Continue Reading

New Year Resources For The Minister’s Soul Care

Many ministers I know wrestle with the difficulty of trying to live a life of transformation and intimacy with the God they read about in their Bibles. Most of us long for a deeper inner spiritual life yet regularly experience Dallas Willard’s observation “the greatest enemy of intimacy with God, is service for God.” Ministry by definition is depleting. Without... Continue Reading

Top 10 Posts And Resources In 2022

Top 10 Most Popular Posts In 2022 10 Tips For Setting Healthy Boundaries For Church Leaders How To Set Boundaries With Harmful People Radical Soul Care For Church Leaders January Is A Great Time To Create An Annual Spiritual Growth Plan Could Code Switching Be Why People Aren’t Returning To Your Church? How To Deal With A Control Freak Boss... Continue Reading