Jump directly to the content
magcover

Already a subscriber?

Home > Issues > 2011 > Fall > Where I Find Refreshment
Article Preview. Log in or subscribe now.

Ministry inevitably produces painful accounts of struggle and spiritual dryness. But here's an oasis. We asked ministry leaders to share practices that refresh and energize them. As you read, reflect on what refreshes you, and consider adding some of their practices to your list.

Let Christ Do the Real Work

It's hard to talk about spiritual refreshment without talking about peace. When you drink deeply from God and trust him to act in your life, there is peace in your preaching and pastoral work.

Once, on my way to the podium to speak, I sensed the Lord saying to me: Remember, it's what I do with the word between your lips and in their hearts that matters. That was a tremendous lesson. If we do not trust God to do that, then he will let us do what we're going to do, and it's not going to come to much. But once we recognize that we are always inadequate, but our inadequacy is not the issue, we're able to lay that burden down. Then our satisfaction in Christ spills over into everything we do.

We often buy into a false model of success. We get the idea that we are supposed to make something happen, and so we need services to go "just right." The concluding benediction has hardly ceased before those in charge are asking each other, "How did it go?" We are not at peace when we try to manage outcomes that way. The truth is we don't know how it went. From God's point of view, it will be eternity before we know how it went.

In John 8, when Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more," I don't think she felt, If I work hard, maybe I can do that. She experienced Jesus' words as That's really possible. I can do that. That is one characteristic of preaching that comes from a peaceful, satisfied life.

Henri Nouwen said that the main obstacle to loving God is service for God. Service must come out of Christ's strength and life, flowing through us, into receptive lives. Take an hour, sit in a comfortable place in silence, and do nothing but rest. If you go to sleep, that's okay. We have to stop trying too hard. We need to do this for our own peace, and as an example to those to whom we speak. There is a place for effort, but it must never take God's place with us. We need to make room for him in our lives.

—Dallas Willard is professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California.

Take Energy from the Vision

I'm refreshed by thinking about vision and dreaming about the future. I schedule time to dream. I set aside a significant amount of time to think about the future of my church and our church planting movement. When I am in a good rhythm, I will take a whole day once a month just to dream about the future. I also spend time envisioning the future with my brother Jon (our church's co-founder), or with my directional leadership team.

I make a habit of meeting with high-capacity leaders. In the last month, I've met with top ministry leaders to discuss the direction of our church. I've also spent time with young entrepreneurs. ...

log in

To view the rest of this article, you must be a subscriber to LeadershipJournal.net. Activate your online account for complete access.

Related Topics:BusynessEmotionsFaithFormationSoul
From Issue:Dark Nights of the Soul, Fall 2011 | Posted: November 21, 2011

Also in this Issue: Fall 2011

The Caution Light

The Caution LightSubscriber Access Only

The (Digitally) Connected Church

The (Digitally) Connected Church

Maximize your ministry through social media
Growing in the Dark

Growing in the Dark

When God seems absent, silence isn't the final word.

Even the DarknessSubscriber Access Only

The loss of a friend sparked an extended time of dryness.

Subscribe to read more

Subscribe Today!

  • Monthly issues on web and iPad
  • Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
  • Quarterly print issues

Print subscriber? Activate your online account for complete access.

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Leadership Journal login to easily comment and rate this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.
Editor's Pick
A Good Exit Strategy

A Good Exit Strategy

What to do on your way out.
Sister Sites
Help Others Use Their Spiritual GiftsBuilding Church Leaders

Help Others Use Their Spiritual Gifts