What are some practical ways that pastors and other church leaders can maintain vibrant spiritual lives in the midst of busy ministries?

In his book Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration into Vocational Holiness, Eugene Peterson warns that there is little that is glamorous about the pastoral vocation. Peterson explains, "Pastoral work consists of modest, daily, assigned work." The same holds true of the pastor's spiritual life—it is ordinary. There is nothing remarkable about the primary disciplines that nourish a pastor's spirituality. They are the same fundamental practices that we have urged our congregations to engage in for years: prayer and reading God's word.

We pastors have been looking for vibrancy—a word that carries with it a scent of excitement—when we should have been aiming for vitality. Vibrancy describes the character of my experience. Vitality, on the other hand, has to do with life and health. For most of us, the experiences that mark our spiritual lives are not vibrant. They do not shimmer and pulsate. Like the pastor's work, they are modest and daily.

But even though pastors practice ...

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