As you know, we at Preparing for Amazement focus on the health of people and congregations.To aid you in thinking through such health, I want to take a final look at what it means for congregations to ask the following question focused on spiritual health:

Are we in love with God?

Immediately, this phrase might sound a bit odd to the ear. We often say we are “in love” romantically. That is not the force of this question for us, however. Instead, consider what love looks like when you are “in love” with someone. What are some key characteristics of that relationship? Maybe you spend a good amount of time thinking about that person? Maybe you cannot wait to be with them? Perhaps you spend your efforts on planning your days with them?

Let’s push a little bit. I think a key part of being “in love” with someone is that you consider their needs, their hopes, and their dreams for life. Do churches typically think that way about God? Does yours? Does your congregation consider what God hopes for in this world? In your community? Do you spend time talking about the dreams of God?

My guess is that many of you who read this think more about God’s demands and commands. However, when we are “in love” with someone, we typically don’t think about abiding by their “laws.” Right? That’s because love gives and the law takes. Love encourages us to enter into the lives of people, hope for the things they do, and dare to dream more wildly than ever before.

As we spend time with those we love, we also start to love what they love. Sometimes we don’t every really love them for what they are. Often, we love them because they’re important to those we love. Every parent can relate. We don’t love the tv shows they love because they’re good (Bluey is an exception); we love them because they matter to our kids.

As you consider the spiritual health of your congregation, I encourage you to do the following:

1) Spend time with God. Many of the blog articles on spiritual health bring us back to the central truth that to be with God is healthy. If we are “in love” with God, we spend time with God, however we feel is most loving.

2) Dream more, judge less. Too often, we miss what God is doing because we are more worried about defending God than loving God (God can take care of Himself). Being “in love” means we are invited to dream God’s dreams for us and our community.

3) Love what God loves. This is often a sign of congregations who are “in love” with God. Such congregations serve others not because they “have to” or even because they want to. They serve others because God loves others.

My ultimate hope in this series is that congregations can rotate these seven blog posts throughout the year to focus on the spiritual health of their life together. They may seem a bit different than the normal work a congregation does together. Yet, if you focus on spiritual health together, the potential for your future, faith, and life is amazing!

Nate Whittaker, Coach

Categories: Leadership


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