Sunday, June 9, 2019

Spiritual Disciplines of a Leader

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:1-2

Before the Apostle Paul urges us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, he begins with the phrase "in view of God's mercy." Because of God's great love for us, this urging is more of an invitation to intimacy than a command for morality. God longs to be with us and to lead us into his good, pleasing and perfect will

This summer on The Young Life Leader Blog we're going to dedicate Sundays to focusing on the spiritual disciplines of a leader. These are not ways that we earn God's approval, but ways that God invites us to participate in his transforming love.

I've had a few spiritual disciplines in my toolbox for years, things like participating in church, praying, and reading the Bible. Maybe you’re familiar with those, or maybe you’re just starting to try a few disciplines as you learn what it means to follow Jesus. Those tools are foundational, but there are many other helpful disciplines that all of us can use.

“When you boil it all down, each spiritual discipline is simply a slightly different way to offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice.” - Nathan Foster

Followers of Jesus throughout history and all over the world have many different practices that have helped them connect in deeper ways to God.

Below are a few that we'll be sharing about:
  • Sabbath: Taking time each week to celebrate and intentionally connect with God; a day of delight and worship.
  • The Daily Examen: A moment at each day's end to check in with yourself and the Lord and reflect on what He was doing in your life today. 
  • Communal worship: Gathering regularly with other fellow believers for worship and prayer.
  • Ancient Prayers: Prayers that can be read at different times, whether daily or for specific events in the church. 
  • Contemplative Prayer/Centering Prayer: Using words from scripture to direct our thoughts in prayer.
  • Fasting: Givin up food, or something else, for a set amount of time in order to focus on the Lord.
  • Solitude: Taking regular time away from other people and distractions to be alone with the Lord.
  • Confession: Having a regular time of confession and repentance before the Lord.
For more on spiritual practices in general, check out TheEternal Current by Aaron Niequist and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Written by Camber McKenzie.

Camber McKenzie is a volunteer Young Life leader in Steamboat Springs, CO, and has an MBA from Regent University. She gets excited about books, impromptu dance parties, and doing anything outdoors.

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