This is part 5 of 6 in our Spiritual Formation for Pastors series. 

Intentional practices create encouraging conditions that can create a foundation for spiritual formation. Two important practices in particular will help pastors grow deeper in their walk with Christ.

Building Purposeful Habits and Rhythms Helps Us Grow

You may call them “rituals”, but we’re talking about highly purposeful habits and consistent rhythms of life that will help us in our pursuit of God. These will take shape in different formats and different routines at different times of life. We’re not searching for one perfect system, but we have freedom to explore different rhythms and rituals that can help us draw near to God – and discard those that don’t. These might include habits and practices that deal with the mental, physical, emotional, and social aspects of our lives. (We will cover specific spiritual disciplines in another video.)

Maintaining Accountable Relationships Helps Us Grow

Another important element in spiritual formation is accountable relationships. These are necessary for spiritual growth. Find people you can be accountable to and share with them your chosen habits and rhythms. Also, share with them your desired outcomes at this phase of your life, perhaps related to identity, workaholism, or related pastoral issues.

Finding intimate friendships is often scary or elusive for pastors. In another video, we talked about “allies” versus “confidantes”. Allies are people whose interests converge with ours. They can be very helpful in getting a job done. But they may not be confidantes. Confidantes are people who will accept you unconditionally no matter what you share. Allies can help provide accountability, but pastors also need confidantes to help us grow.
Be intentional about creating helpful habits and life rhythms that can help you grow – and enlist others to help you stay on track.

Adapted from Resilient Ministry by Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman and Donald C. Guthrie. ©2013 by Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman and Donald C. Guthrie. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Over the years, what rhythms have you developed that strengthen your walk with God?
  4. What rhythms of life have you developed that undermine healthy spirituality?
  5. Describe a time when you experimented with different rhythms and habits. What happened?
  6. Which aspect of your life could most benefit from more structure right now: mental, physical, spiritual, or social?
  7. Who understands your work and your world, such that you would not feel like you had to explain yourself to them, but also speaks the truth in love to you?
  8. What potential confidantes can you name from inside your church’s system and from outside it?
  9. Who stimulates you to grow spiritually? Explain. How can you wisely steward your time with them?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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