As you continue your journey toward greater spiritual vitality, this prayer for pastors by Dallas Willard is our prayer for you:
My hope and prayer for each of you is that you would have a rich life of joy and power, abundant in supernatural results, with a constant, clear vision of never-ending life in God’s world before you, and of everlasting significance of your work day by day.
Pastoral ministry is rewarding—at times even exhilarating—and fulfilling and uplifting. But it’s also humbling, frustrating, relentless, and draining. As a pastor, you care for God’s people, nurturing their spiritual health and well-being. But do you also care for your own soul?
The Pastors' Spiritual Vitality toolkit is a new way to help nurture your life with God. It’s designed for and by pastors to strengthen you on this journey, but many of the resources are easily adapted to support your ministry leaders and congregations as well.
Since nurture and growth happen best in community, this toolkit is relationally based. Here you’ll discover resources for developing one-on-one relationships as well as small- to medium-sized groups to nurture your spiritual life.
In this toolkit you’ll find
- four Assessment Tools for increasing your self-awareness.
- a Spiritual Companions Chart for helping you discern what kind of one-on-one relationship might best support you.
- guidance for developing basic Rhythms and Practices.
- Pastor Stories of formative relationships and habits.
- additional Resources for shaping personal rhythms and practices.
We’ve also provided a free user’s guide to this toolkit. You can view the user’s guide or visit Faith Alive’s online catalog (FaithAliveResources.org) to order a free printed copy. You can also check out this introductory video.
We're here to help! For a personalized introduction to the resources in this toolkit contact Al Postma or Syd Hielema.
One grows in spiritual vitality as roots in God are nourished, relationships with God's people pursued and rhythms of grace practiced.
Roots. Spiritual vitality looks like the God-blessed tree of Psalm 1, flourishing on a fertile riverbank. Through the baptismal waters, God transplants us there. Through a relationship with Jesus, we’re invited into a fully alive life. Through cooperation with the Spirit of life, God grants us health and vitality, nourishing our roots, strengthening our branches, and causing fruit to grow in season.
This toolkit identifies important resources that help nurture and sustain this God-blessed life.
Relationship. Spiritual vitality is the process of becoming who we were created to be: God-lovers, people-lovers, kingdom-lovers. We need to nurture all three of these relationships. Sometimes as pastors, we prioritize feeding the sheep over our own relationship with the Shepherd. Yet feeding his sheep flows from this intimate relationship. Feeding his sheep becomes an expression of our love for God.
This toolkit is organized around relationships, divine and human. We can’t have spiritual vitality without them. Through them God loves us, grows us, and makes himself known.
Rhythm. Spiritual vitality involves waking up to the wisdom of the rhythms of life God created. Over the centuries, wise Christian leaders have learned to pay attention to those rhythms: working and resting, dying and rising, planting and harvesting. God built into his world the means to grow and flourish. Engaging these rhythms and ways of growth opens the door to a spiritually healthy lifestyle.
For a picture of what a spiritually healthy person looks like, read Neal Plantinga’s description in "Spiritual Hygiene", an excerpt from Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin. Reprinted by permission of Eerdmans Publishing.