One of my favorite leadership books is Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels. In that book, he references another book by Gary Thomas that helped transform my spiritual journey. The idea is that just like we each have different spiritual gifts, we each have unique spiritual pathways that help us revitalize our walk with God. Here are a few:
The Relational Pathway – For these people, solitude feels like solitary confinement. For them to feel refreshed in their walk, they need to be around people, lots of them. They feed off of the energy others and revitalize their own walk with God.
The Intellectual Pathway – These people can’t have a morning devotional without two or three commentaries open. For them, their spiritual walk isn’t alive until their mind is fully engaged. They skip past the fluff and dive straight into the deep stuff.
The Serving Pathway – Some folks can’t catch their spiritual stride unless they’re serving on a consistent basis. Being spiritually refreshed comes when they go out, roll up their sleeves, and tangibly serve someone else. They’d rather serve than pray, read their Bible, or sing worship songs.
The Contemplative Pathway – This is what we normally think about when we think about pathways: the Christian alone with a Bible and a journal. They march to the beat of their own drummer, and spiritual revitalization comes with heavy doses of isolation.
The Activist Pathway – Activists are at their happiest when going at Mach 2. Sometimes serving, sometimes leading, they’re always doing something. Contemplation is the cruelest form of torture for an activist. They feel the most spiritually alive when they’re actively doing something for the Kingdom.
The Creation Pathway – These folks love being surrounded by God’s creation. Being in a natural environment dramatically increases their awareness of God. They pray and worship best when surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.
The Worship Pathway – Give these folks a good worship song and let them go to town. They feel closest to God when fully engaged in worship through music. The highlight of their Sunday is not the sermon, but the music. The beauty of music draws them into a deeper communion with God.
The first step is to identify your pathway. After reading this, I quickly realized that my pathway is the Creation Pathway. I feel closer to God after a ten minute walk than an hour spent in isolation. What’s your spiritual pathway?
Step two is to lean into your pathway. Schedule time for your pathway as a priority. When I first came across this, I changed my morning routine to include a short walk outside each morning. I found my spirit fuller and my prayers more vibrant than when I stayed indoors.
Steps three and four are to appreciate the other pathways and help others identify their pathway. This blog is step four for me.
QUESTION: What’s your spiritual pathway?