Thinking You Should Be Closer to God More This Week Than Last (Part 2 of The Failure of A Thousand Ministers)

Since this was my first full week of blogging regularly, I’m still figuring out how it’s all gonna pan out. Fridays I would like to put up something, but not a full fledged post like the rest of the week. I may put up/link to videos, art, or just ask a question (mostly rhetorical as I’ve had only one commenter), as in this week.

Next Monday I’m planning to continue exploring what I started this week when I admitted that all the Christian books I read don’t add up to better spiritual practices and ultimately a closer relationship to God. So I thought I’d link the few days between the posts by asking this question (even at the risk of it being rhetorical).

Ultimately we view the goal of ministry as growing closer to God and bleeding our heart into his. We are recommended particular books and sermons and the like to digest because they can help us on this path, because we think they will pull that person’s spiritual life forward. But I wonder if our expectations are even fair – as we hope to grow leaps and bounds with each book successfully placed back on the shelf and each seminar name tag displayed on our dresser.

I’m married, albeit still a relative newly wed, and you hear of couples who fall more and more in love as each year passes (though my Grandma warned me there will be hard YEARS where you may feel distant and disconnected, and you just have to muster through it), but is it a dramatic difference year to year? Our relationships progress in a linear fashion – of moving more and more toward increased intimacy, but isn’t the progress better measured by inches than miles (or for anyone outside of the USA – measured by millimeters than kilometers)?

What I’m getting at is do you eventually hit a plateau, where the learning curve isn’t as steep as it once was? Where you aren’t growing closer and closer like you were early on? If so, maybe this would help explain the failure of a thousand ministers in pushing us closer and closer to God.

What do you think? Do we put too much trust in books, sermons and conferences? Are we supposed to grow by leaps and bounds all time?

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3 Responses to Thinking You Should Be Closer to God More This Week Than Last (Part 2 of The Failure of A Thousand Ministers)

  1. JamesBrett says:

    i’m with you on two counts:

    1) it’s probably not realistic to think that we should grow by leaps and bounds all the time.

    2) i don’t think books are a great deal of help in such a process.

    for that matter, though, when we think of spiritual growth and relationship with God in these terms, it sounds as if the end of Christianity is for us to “feel close” to God. we’d never say the purpose of marriage is to “feel close” to our spouse.

    i do think it’s possible to (and often happens that we) grow by “by leaps and bounds” well after we’ve become christians. so i don’t think the plateau is really an issue of time. rather those “leaps and bounds” times seem to come during periods of persecution, hardship, discomfort, service, etc. some of these catalysts are outside of our abilities to produce in our own lives. and some of them i’d never wish on another individual. but there are a few that we run from — and might be better off to move toward (ie. service to others, simplicity, etc).

  2. That I can agree with, but that’s where the “good news” suddenly becomes bad news in a sense – that we grow the most when we are struggling. That’s one of those upside down/backwards truths that seem so counter-intuitive. Its actually those sort of truths that really attracted me (back) to Jesus and thought “maybe this guy is onto something.”

    Thanks for the input, and also echoing that books may not be all that helpful (I think I’ve leaned on them more than is healthy in the past).

  3. Angela says:

    Soo I’m gonna be uber lame and just say that I’m super stoked that you’re blogging again and I will be an avid reader of it. But, for now I’m just gonna say that and log off…haha. But I promise to read:) Miss you, my friend!

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