Sunday, October 27, 2019

Needed: Warm Bread from the Oven of Our Intimacy with God


I expect our church's staff to spend solitary time, each week, in the presence of God. Without that, we will be irrelevant and inauthentic.

Sometimes Linda and I reminisce about great restaurants we have eaten at. We've had many sumptuous meals together! As awesome as that is, I didn't have breakfast this morning, and need fresh food soon. The memory of a wonderful dinner is no help to me today.

The same is true spiritually. Pastoral leaders need fresh-baked spiritual manna for their souls. We can't live off meals from our past. Maybe you had an awesome encounter with God years ago. That's great. But it's not helpful today. If we aren't feasting on new spiritual food, we're limited in what we can give our people. And, some of our people will suspect we're living with God in the past, not in the present.

Ruth Haley Barton writes:

"The market is glutted with books on leadership, and many contain contradictory messages. I’m not sure anyone has the full perspective— really. But one of the things I know for sure is that those who are looking to us for spiritual sustenance need us first and foremost to be spiritual seekers ourselves. They need us to keep searching for the bread of life that feeds our own souls so that we can guide them to places of sustenance for their own souls. Then, rather than offering the cold stone of past devotionals, regurgitated apologetics or someone else’s musings about the spiritual life, we will have bread to offer that is warm from the oven of our intimacy with God."
- Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, p. 29