Somewhere, perhaps in seminary, I was told that leading worship cannot really be worship for the worship leader. Somewhere, perhaps in seminary, I was taught that preparing to lead a Bible study or preach a sermon did not count as actual Bible study for the one doing the preparation. Somewhere I got the impression that leading prayer at committee meetings did not count as prayer life. None of the spiritual matters I labored at as a minister counted as spiritual practice. It was all, I had been told, ‘professional,’ not personal or spiritual. My eventual realization that this was untrue has brought me great relief, even joy.
– Michael L. Lindvall, “Spiritual Ill-Discipline”
Note to self: It all counts. (and why am I counting anyway?)
Writing/Reflection Prompt: When it comes to spiritual matters, are there some things that you consciously or unconsciously tell yourself “that doesn’t count”?
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4 thoughts on “On Work and Spirituality”
Being a pastor for the better part of a generation, I’ve struggled with all of those 1st and 2nd cousins of “real/personal” spiritual practice and the way I invest my time in my life and calling. Another one for me was that I learned “somewhere” that Seeking first the Kingdom of God was only real if I read from my bible and prayed the very first thing in the morning. I would find myself seeking out and being inspired and challenged by bloggers that addressed the chords of my heart but then feel guilty as if I had just had “devotions lite.” The story goes on and on, but my freedom and joy is now unfolding as I have been realizing that “Seeking first His Kingdom” is actually pursuing, as my highest priority, the qualities of embracing and expanding the life principles of God’s Kingdom where life unfolds for me each day. There is as much variety in methodology as there are facets in the creative nature of God. Thanks for this article. It further affirms me.
Thank you for these thoughts. I always find myself more spiritually enriched when I prepare to lead others in worship. The intensity of doing it for others, not just for myself has a different feel to it, but is nevertheless enriching and satisfying. I lead worship tomorrow at my church and I feel more prepared to worship God than I usually do!
I so appreciate your voice of experience and the way you express life/freedom/joy “unfolding.” Thank you. And Elfrieda, I often feel the same way about worship–blessings as you lead.