Scoring High in Spiritual Vitality, Discussion of the Asbury Awakening & Rhythm of Rest
African American Christians score 10 percent higher than all other Christians in spiritual vitality, a new scale of holistic spiritual health the American Bible Society introduced in its 2023 State of the Bible report. In an informative and encouraging discussion, a group of missions and prayer leaders took a look at the Asbury Awakening that happened earlier this year and the role prayer played in the movement. And, in a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Danny Forshee writes, “Being maxed out will lead to burn out, and when you are burned out in ministry, you are unhealthy. Allow me to offer three practical tips to help you make some changes in your schedule so you can at least take one day off a week.”
African American Christians score 10 percent higher than all other Christians in spiritual vitality, a new scale of holistic spiritual health the American Bible Society introduced in its 2023 State of the Bible report.
The Spiritual Vitality Gauge (SVG) measures spiritual health through a set of nine concise questions focused on beliefs, practices and faith in action among self-identified Christians, the ABS said July 13 in releasing its findings in the report’s fourth chapter.
The higher score among African Americans, when compared to whites and Hispanic Americans, should not be surprising, the ABS said, as Blacks lead the way on nearly every measure of spiritual life the study uses.
In an informative and encouraging discussion, a group of missions and prayer leaders took a look at the Asbury Awakening that happened earlier this year and the role prayer played in the movement.
The panelists agreed that prayer is the foundation of genuine revival.
The awakening began in early February after a call to repent and seek the Lord during a Wednesday chapel service at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky. The service led to an outbreak of worship, prayer and repentance from students and faculty. It spread quickly, and for more than two weeks, people came from far and wide, filling the chapel 24/7.
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In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Danny Forshee writes, “Being maxed out will lead to burn out, and when you are burned out in ministry, you are unhealthy. Allow me to offer three practical tips to help you make some changes in your schedule so you can at least take one day off a week.”
1. Obey God.
God’s Word is very clear about taking a day off and resting. I had multiple people offer books to me on the importance of resting. So I had a choice to make: Would I obey God or not? Would I listen to friends who were trying to help me or not? I am so grateful to God that He impressed upon me to make the change.
2. Do yourself a favor.
Proverbs 11:17 says, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” One of the best things you can do for your soul is rest. It will take some discipline to make the change. Turning off the computer, not checking emails, and unplugging from work will take effort. People may judge you and tempt you to get back in the mode of working all the time. Don’t do it! For the sake of your health and your family, keep your commitment to obey God and help yourself.
3. Enjoy the benefits of rest.
One of the books I read in my quest to learn more about rest is Leading on Empty. Leading from a place of strength is far preferable, and the only way to do that is to develop a rhythm of rest. On your day off, do things you enjoy. Read. Go for a walk. Hang out with family and friends. You get the idea: anything fun, but no work.
Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.