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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, March 9, 2012


I have been a regular advocate for people being deliberate about their personal spiritual practice. In fact it is not uncommon for this topic to appear in What’s the Good Word, like this piece from December 30.

The need for deliberate and regular spiritual formation seems obvious for any disciple, however that importance is multiplied for anyone in a church leadership position. How can leaders lead unless we are seeking to be in touch with the one whose name and Spirit the church bears? Having served as pastor in more than one congregation, I can personally attest to the foolishness and futility of trying to lead any other way.

Despite this rather obvious understanding, there is a related observation that is so equally clear that I am embarrassed to admit it has totally eluded me until now. In a book entitled Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community that Makes a Difference In the World, M. Scott Boren writes about the importance of sharing our spiritual practice with our community. In small groups, this involves the group (or at least the group leaders) sharing that journey of prayer and discernment together as they seek to understand God’s will for their group.

What about congregations? Would it not be equally important for congregational leaders to share together in the process of discerning where God would like their congregation to go? Especially now with so many churches being led by pastoral or leadership teams, would it not be a blessing for them to be joined together in prayer and discernment for the direction of their congregation?

What if the leadership team were to meet together regularly for prayer and conversation about their church; weekly if possible? It could be a prayer breakfast, or a weekly gathering before church on Sunday morning. With modern electronic communication, it could even be a virtual meeting on a convenient weeknight. Perhaps the team might choose a certain scripture and each commit to dwell in that word daily, then share their experience when they are together. What if each member of the team were to commit to continuing this daily practice of study and prayer knowing that the other members of the team were also seeking the Spirit’s guidance? Can anyone doubt that this would produce a powerful effect upon the congregation? Would it not be a blessing?

I have already noted that this idea seems embarrassingly obvious. And yet, I wonder how many of our congregational leaders meet together in this way. Are you part of such a team? If so, perhaps it is time we tried sharing our spiritual journey together.

Posted by Carman

1 comment:

  1. excellent thoughts Carman! spiritual formation is so very important for those why may be placed in a position of "spiritual leadership"...

    and i already have "Missional Small Groups: Becoming a Community that Makes a Difference In the World" on order from amazon! i think a friend may have suggested it!


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