I had lunch with a good friend whom I greatly respect the other day and the conversation turned to one topic that usually comes up when two pastors talk about anything: effectiveness in ministry. We talked for some time about the newest ideas, the latest fads and the coolest ways to do church. But then, something interesting happened. We both began to lament the loss of a deeply spiritual side to the books, conferences, websites, blogs, magazines and coaching networks.
I understand that pastors should be practitioners and that church work, at times, is very practical. But I also know that church work has a deeply spiritual side that, to me, has been widely ignored. Where are the prominent pastors crying out for holy living? Where are the conferences challenging churches to embrace concerted, fervent prayer? Where are the spiritual leaders who continually raise the banner for holy living?
I’m not saying that these type of leaders and conferences don’t exist (in fact, I can think of one or two). But what I am saying is that their voices have been muted by the clamoring throng that tells me the new “formula” to grow my church. All of this ranting to say one simple thing: in my life, ministry and family God is bringing me back to the basics. I need to rediscover the secrets to effective ministry: a passionate pursuit of God, the priority of fervent prayer and the anointing of Spirit-filled living.