For most pastors the greatest need is formation, not information. We’ve got enough information. What we often lack is a deep and meaningful intimacy with God, a spirituality that our people can follow.
Dallas Willard in The Great Omission put it this way, “The people to whom we minister and speak will not recall 99 percent of what we say to them. But they will never forget the kind of persons we are. This is certainly true of influential ministers in my own past. The quality of our souls will indelibly touch others for good or for ill. So we must never forget that the most important thing happening at any moment, in the midst of all our ministerial duties, is the kind of persons we are becoming.”
We only have so much time for input, i.e. study and reading, listening to speakers, etc. Let’s make sure that our input focuses on both information and formation…with the greater amount of time given to formation. A good rule would be to devote 70% of your input-time to formation and the remaining 30% to information. John Maxwell once said, “You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.” In order for “what we are” to be worth reproducing we must schedule time for quiet and solitude and always have at least one book we’re reading that helps us with spiritual formation.
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