Decades ago, I came back to the Church after a few years not attending worship services regularly. Cathy and I knew we needed to get involved with a church family and form new routines and habits for our good both as individuals and as a couple. One of the habits we developed was worshiping with others every Sunday.
Even if we didn’t know it at the time, we were seeking to find spiritual disciplines to help us change from the people we were into the people we really wanted to become. More accurately, we desired to grow more into the people God wanted us to be. I assure you we are still on that journey!!!
Cathy is leading a worship series at Tyner UMC focused on spiritual disciplines. Practicing spiritual disciples like praying, worshiping, studying scripture, giving, serving, and taking Communion are part of the journey of spiritual formation. Robert Mulholland Jr. defines spiritual formation as "the process of being formed in the image of Christ for the sake of others."
The Indiana Methodist Church is placing a focus on spiritual disciplines this year. So for our Methodist readers, consider this:
So how often should you go to worship services? How often should you pray, read your Bible, attend a small group? How much should you give or serve your church or community? Would a spiritual retreat of some kind be beneficial? I suggest you not look for the easiest or hardest spiritual discipline to practice. My advice would be to seriously seek the spiritual routine that helps you become closer to Jesus and more like Him. There is no way to avoid the truth. It takes being intentional and disciplined if we want to be more like Jesus.
A saying I like for any area in life is “work your routine until your routine doesn’t work for you.” Sometimes routines actually deaden us spiritually! A short break or a slight change may be all it takes to renew the value of a spiritual practice. But if we aren’t growing to be more like Jesus, it might be time for us to look for a new spiritual routine.