Mechanical Ministry…Running on Empty (Part 2)
Overcoming the “Mechanical Ministry Syndrome” is a choice. At some point we have to look the “robot” that seems to be driving our lives right in the eyes and say, “Enough is enough.”
As I mentioned in Part 1, the remedy is found in the depth of our relationship with Jesus and His Word. Growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus is a clear mandate for us as believers (as seen in 2 Peter 3:18).
It requires discipline in order to grow in Him. We need to establish godly habits in our lives which is easier said than done. We all know what we should do. But how do I establish godly patterns in my life?
I would like to suggest six steps I call “Spiritual Integration.” These should not be viewed as six easy steps to spirituality but rather as a process for establishing spiritual habits.
- Realize that you need to grow. It is not enough to attend church and listen to sermons. Growing is intentional and will be the result of a variety of opportunities for spiritual input.
- Set a goal for your personal devotions or study. We all know habits will not “just happen.” Life has many demands.
- Create your plan. For example, determine “I will do this before breakfast,” “I will do it before bed,” or whatever is best for you. But have a plan.
- Gather your materials. What tools are you going to need for this particular discipline/habit (i.e. Bible, journal, study books, etc.)?
- Follow through with the discipline. Focus on the discipline until it becomes fully integrated into your life. It takes time to establish a pattern, so take it slowly. By the way, do not confuse discipline with legalism or “checklist Christianity.”
- Take time for evaluation. Once you have established one habit, evaluate your life again. Determine another area of personal growth and repeat the process.
We should never stop growing or thinking we have arrived spiritually. We have been given the gift of salvation and the privilege to know the King of Kings intimately. Let’s not waste it.
What has been your experience with the growth process? I’d love to hear from you.