Saturday, March 03, 2018

Help for Worrying Pastors

Cancun sunrise

As a pastor, I still worry too much. Much (all?) of my worry grows from the false belief that I am left behind, on my own,  relying on subhuman talents in working for the kingdom. Yes, I mentally acknowledge that God is with me. I don't always live like it. 

One sign I am not living as if God is constantly with me is worry.

Fortunately, I spend a lot of solitary praying time with God. This almost always restores my heart to its proper place.

I read Scripture and meditate on it. I read lots of experienced Jesus-followers and learn from them. Such as Dallas Willard.

"Dallas [Willard] often told the story of a period early in his ministry when God spoke to him just as he was about to preach before a large crowd. As he rose to stand before the podium, Dallas heard God say, “Remember, it’s what I do with the Word between your lips and their hearts that matters.” Dallas then went on to describe the great joy and sense of relief he experienced upon realizing that God alone was accountable to produce the result, and he was only responsible for his preparation. It is God’s power, in concert with our efforts and energies, that enables us to accomplish a much greater purpose and outcome than we could achieve otherwise. This is grace." (Black Jr., Gary. Preparing for Heaven: What Dallas Willard Taught Me About Living, Dying, and Eternal Life, p. 200; emphasis mine)

I cannot hear this enough. I hear it again today, as Linda and I are nearing the end of a week away in Cancun.

My first two books are...

Praying: Reflection on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God (May 2016)

Leading the Presence-Driven Church (January 2018)

I am now writing...

Technology and Spiritual Formation

How God Changes the Human Heart: A Phenomenology of Spiritual Transformation)