The Spiritual Life

“The spiritual life is not something that is gotten for the wishing or assumed by affectation.  
The spiritual life takes discipline.” 
Joan Chittister
     Bill Hybels has introduced in one of his books the idea of Holy Discontent.  The question Hybels raises is, “What is your Holy Discontent?  What is that one thing that you can’t stand anymore and desperately want to do something about?”  Usually, a Holy Discontent is something so great that it cannot be accomplished by one’s own strength.  It will require prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.  But if pursued vigorously, mixed with a healthy dose of prayer and trust in God, one’s Holy Discontent can result in activity that significantly advances God’s Kingdom.
     It should be no secret that my Holy Discontent is people who have said they will follow Jesus but show little personal discipline in growing into the character of Jesus.  As Joan Chittister says, the spiritual life is not something that is gotten for the wishing.  It takes discipline. As your pastor it is my desire, my Holy Discontent, to see every member of this congregation become a vibrant, growing follower of Jesus.  That will not happen just because it is something I want for this church.  It will happen, person by person, as each member recognizes personally and deeply what God has done for them in Jesus Christ.  That ability to see what great love God has lavished on us results in the natural response to know God more, to love Jesus more profoundly.  That is what “Spiritual Formation” is all about.  And spiritual formation requires discipline.
     Part of my vision for this congregation is to assist people in their Christian journey with a Center for Life-Long Learning.  The idea is to provide, throughout the year, opportunities to learn from seasoned Christians how to go deeper and further in our shared walk with Jesus.  The first opportunity will be this November, when we welcome to our church Dr. Greg Ogden, author of numerous books including Discipleship Essentials.  During Dr. Ogden’s weekend with us, he will provide two classes, one for our elected spiritual leaders, the Elders and Deacons and another class for the membership of the church.  In both opportunities, Dr. Ogden will address the great need in our churches today for greater depth in faith development and provide a pathway forward.  I hope you will be intentional in blocking-out Saturday, November 9th and share in this marvelous opportunity.   

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