For those desiring a more intentional walk with God, practicing a spiritual discipline can be helpful. But choosing which discipline and sticking to it can be overwhelming. Adele Ahlberg Calhoun has compiled a Spiritual Disciplines Handbook (InterVarsity Press) with 62 disciplines, instructions on how to practice them, and a guide for choosing the correct discipline. Calhoun is pastor of spiritual formation at Christ Church in Oak Brook, Illinois, and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
How did you get involved in spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines?
When I was on staff at Park Street Church in Boston a long time ago, I had a crisis in ministry. The basic tool I was using was information. Boston loves information. People would come to see me or hear me teach, and they would say, "This is great information." Then they would come back two weeks, two months, or two years later with a different presenting issuebut underneath it was a sense of not knowing God's love or having things in their head but not in their heart.
I went to my senior pastor and said, "I don't really see transformation happening in a lasting way, and I either need to go someplace else or figure out how to do this right." That sent me on a journey. I ended up taking courses in spiritual direction. These practices lead people where they need to go as the Holy Spirit partners with them.
Spirituality, or walking closely with God, is often seen as more a matter of being than doing. But the spiritual disciplines are a practice. How does a daily or weekly practice relate to caring for the soul?
Disciplines are repetitive acts that I do to get something I want. I want to learn to speak Spanish. So I have to partner in the process. With ...1
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