Three More Ways To Spiritual Renewal
Three More Ways To Spiritual Renewal
In the last two posts we explored the following pathways to spiritual renewal: worship; engaging in creation; serving; and engaging people. This post will focus on three more ways to spiritual renewal for the preacher and for anyone else.
The Intellectual Pathway to Spiritual Renewal
Some people experience great renewal when they study a subject intensively. The reality is that some people are wired this way. In other words, they experience the presence of God when they are involved in a rigorous intellectual engagement. You probably know some people like this. They love to go to lectures, or watch documentaries on television, or go to classes.
Spiritual renewal comes to people who love that sort of thing, but is available to anyone who decides to study something in the Bible or involving theology. I have to confess that this is not one of my primary pathways to spiritual renewal, but I have found it fun and refreshing to engage this pathway on occasion. One way that has helped me in this regard to is to get a concordance (book or on-line), and look for certain words or phrases.
Try it. One of there most exciting studies in my experience is to look for the phrase, “Do not be afraid”. Read through the references quickly and take notes (I’m told there are 365 such references). Then draw some conclusions about what should keep us from being afraid.
This is one of the three more ways to spiritual renewal for the preacher.
The Contemplative Pathway
The contemplative person prefers long stretches of time alone with God and focusing thoughts on God. If you are a contemplative person, the engagement with people will likely drain you. And so, you need time spent with God to fill your energy bank again. Here’s how the website “Resourced!” describes an activity so that you can try this pathway for yourself:
“Sometime this week light a candle and set it on a table before you. Sit comfortably in a chair where you can look at the candle. Spend some time focusing on the candle before you, breathing deeply. Cast your gaze into the depth of the flame. Repeat the following phrase over and over as you seek to understand the constant energy of God’s presence, like the candle flame, in your life: God, your light sustains me; Jesus, you are the light of the world; Spirit, you are present in flame and energy.”
This pathway may not be one of your primary, most effective ones, but give it a try. You may be surprised how this renews your sense of energy to go back to preaching and ministry. This, then is one of the three more ways to spiritual renewal for the one who is drained by ministry.
The Activist Pathway to Renewal
The last of the seven traditional pathways to spiritual renewal is called “The Activist Pathway”. The person for whom this pathway is primary is someone who loves a challenge. They will often have multiple deadlines. They want to make a difference, and that drives them to engage in a variety of ministries. Here’s a description from another website that describes these pathways:
The Activist pathway (Nehemiah): Activists have single-minded zeal and a strong sense of vision. You have a passion to build the church and work for justice in the world. You also work to bring out the potential that God has placed in others. Nehemiah was an activist.
When you are drained from ministry, this will be a difficult pathway to try, because you may not feel much like engaging in more ministry. But I encourage you to try this. When I was at what was likely the lowest point of my life, I volunteered at the county museum where I lived. I told the woman who interviewed me that I just wanted to do things that would further their work. I didn’t want to make any decisions. One of two times a week I just did things around the museum, like preparing a display, cleaning, and getting presentation material ready for others who were going out to schools, etc. It turned into a time of escape and renewal for me.
So, here are three more ways to spiritual renewal for you. When you are drained, try them. Better yet, try them before you are drained. For further exploration, here is a link to a further explanation of each of the seven pathways that I’ve given you, along with a questionnaire to help you determine which pathways will be most beneficial to you.