One of the things Aiden Wilson Tozer, a modern day prophet, lamented was the condition of our churches: ‘the shallowness of their inner experience, the hollowness of their worship and their servile imitation of the world in their promotional methods.’
Sixty three years from the time Tozer wrote those words we are still in the same situation. It seems that nothing has improved with our church condition. Our churches are still filled with men and women whose inner experience is very shallow, whose worship is hollow, and whose promotional methods are a servile imitation of those of the world.
Since Tozer’s time we have had countless church conferences, more evangelistic camps than ever, an Ecumenical Council, several local church councils, synods, encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books on church planting and discipleship too numerous to count, and yet the general level of our spirituality in the churches seems not to have gained in depth or in height.
The primary reason for this is that both church leaders and members in general have not yet found their spirituality. There is therefore an urgent need to lead more and more people, both church leaders and members, to find their spirituality.
Church leaders think that they have found their spirituality by their training in the seminaries, theological schools and updating seminars, by their involvement in renewal movements like annual retreats, monthly recollections, daily prayer exercises, etc. They do not realize these are not enough to have some kind of spirituality that really has an impact on their lives and those of others.
Church members may not even be aware that they have a need to find their spirituality. They think that accepting Christ as personal Lord and Savior and being filled with the Spirit are enough to empower them to witness to others.
That is why there is really a need to lead others, church leaders and members to find their spirituality. How do you start doing this?
First of all, the person who intends to help someone find his or her spirituality must himself or herself have a deeper experience of this spirituality. Water always seeks its own level. The spirituality of those you are helping never gets higher than yours as long as they are dependent on you. How can you help someone find her spirituality if you yourself have not found it?
If you yourself have had no in-depth experience of spirituality you cannot hope to help someone find her spirituality.
If you have already arrived in your spiritual life, if you have reached your destination in your spiritual journey, only then can you tell others about that destination and the way to it. Now you may help them find their spirituality because you have found yours.
The second thing to do after being certain yourself that you have found your spirituality is to make clear to others what the destination is in a life of spirituality.
You are like a tourist guide. When you guide a tour group, you tell the members of that group what the places are that they are going to pass through, including the culmination of their tour. You will not describe in detail what they will find in every place but you will give a brief and correct description of each place.