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Trying to convince computer-age people to practice spiritual disciplines such as regular prayer, Bible study, and giving is like trying to sell hair restorer to a bald man. He might accept that he needs the stuff, but he's not convinced your product can deliver. In response to an article I'd written on fasting, a lady wrote, "You don't really believe we're supposed to do that in the twentieth century, do you?"

Yes. The trick, for us who are pastors, is finding ways to minimize the obstacles and give people the joy of discipline. Here are some ways our congregation has found to do that.

Present disciplines as normal

Most Christians wish they were more disciplined. They know they should pray consistently, read their Bibles more regularly, and give generously-just as they should exercise more faithfully and spend their time more wisely. But their guilt about their lack in these areas causes them to dismiss the disciplines, considering them only for the spiritually elite. After all, how many ...

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