Spiritual Development in The Life of the Pastor
Spiritual Development in The Life of the Pastor
My ministry leadership and growth development plan for the past 19 years has consisted of an ongoing cycle of training and formation that has taken place on a daily and weekly basis. Over the course of this journey I have found myself consulting God for wisdom, direction, instruction and help for the task that is ahead of ministry. In the past nine years I have conducted national and international mission trips, conferences and seminars. I have planted and served four congregations, completed doctoral level training, organized a school for bivocational ministers and served three major Christian Universities as a University Pastor, Director of Ministry Development and Minister at Large for Global Evangelism. I have reviewed my journey of ministry growth and development and placed my thoughts in three categories, they are as follows;
- Corporate Ministry Development
- Personal Ministry Development
- Spiritual Growth Development
In the area of corporate ministry development, I have consistently made it a priority to have a plan that helps me to be available for instruction in community by sitting at the feet of great pastors who preach and teach internationally, as well as locally. Studying by radio, internet and other technological advances has helped me to take advantage of instructional resources that address the church at large and help to develop the leadership skills that I need to be successful in the work of the ministry. International schools of ministry, conferences, seminars workshops and Seminary level classes have all shaped my thinking over the Past 9 years.I have looked forward to searching various resources that encourage me through dialogue, study sessions, and other resources aimed at helping the man of God to navigate the deep waters of leadership. Over the past 19 nine years I have served on Evangelism committees, Baptist associational boards, expository preaching conferences, key note speaking events, community evangelism events and developed networks, connections and resources to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. I have learned about corporate ministry Leadership and development. As a result of what I have learned, I have grown immensely in my own ideas and professional experience.
One such conference that has shaped me over the past 5 years has been the Biblical Exposition Conference of Chicago Illinois. At the conference, preachers share local concerns and ministry issues that affect the community at large. Leaders from ministries across North America attend and together there is prayer, spiritual formation, and preaching and teaching that is designed to encourage and equip the man of God.
In addition to this I have also developed and led conferences across the country that inspire, and help pastors to grow in the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word. It is in these conferences that I have been able to meet others who are walking in the same brand of leadership that I am walking in.
In the area of personal ministry development, I have always had a desire to learn how to cultivate a heart to study God’s word in a systematic format. Preaching through books of the bible has helped me greatly in the past, and because of this desire I have been able to develop this skill as a teacher of God’s word. At my church planting sites, I have had the responsibility of teaching through books of the bible. Each lesson has required multiple hours of preparation and writing. This has helped me in leadership to be studious in the word. Personally, I have been made a better man by this journey, and have grown closer to God in this endeavor, because of expository preaching and teaching, reading and writing, and knowing that I am responsible for others has enhanced my desire for ministry growth and development. 
Prior to my seminary masters degree, my prayer life and personal spiritual formation was inadequate as a leader in ministry. However, I have grown in the disciplines of spiritual formation, and I continue to have a quiet time hour each morning before daybreak. This is where I get alone with God. In this time period, I am able to bring my cares before God and lay them on the altar. It is my special time with the Lord, a time for introspection, reflection, recollection and confession. I long for this time because I know he is meeting me there and will bring to our meeting the necessary correction and information that I need to be a better servant for him. This time of formation (for 19 years) has helped me to begin my day, and to look forward to the work that is before me. 
Personal Devotional Plan
As previously mentioned, early morning intercession and formation is where I find my devotional life in this season of my journey. Before the day begins, my house is quiet, my heart is quiet and my head is less noisy. This is the perfect opportunity for me to connect with Jesus. I have also included into my spiritual disciples, the practice of isolation and spiritual retreats. Often times I get the privilege to spend time at a cabin, hotel and other remote areas near the ocean, mountains, and beaches that I may observe the hand of God through creation.
This has been a powerful form of devotion for me. In many of these times I will take a hymnal, a journal and my bible and begin to seek his face in worship. I have discovered that spiritual formation is a saving grace in the time of crisis. A great portion of my devotional journey has been to go back and read the writings of the saints of old. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Brother Lawrence were men that walked and struggled with God and man. I have learned a great deal from their journey as well as my own. My personal prayer life, devotional time and spiritual formation with God has served me well, as a leader in the Lords Church.
Family Relationship Building
Dennis Rainey did a great work in his Book titled “Ministering to Twenty First Century Families”. He challenges the Preacher to understand the culture in which we live. The author gives the minister tools for understanding, and reaching the new family in the church pew.
As a leader, I have really blown it at times, by putting the church before my own house. I want to do better this year. I want to make ball games, and have regular date nights with Sharon. Attend school plays, and be home for dinner several nights a week. I want to share movie times and take mission vacations and holidays together.
I realize that the spiritual formation of my own family is crucial and very, very important. If the Pastor cannot take care of his own home how can he take care of the house of God? My goal is to make regular appointments with my Kids, date them, hang out with them and be available for them whenever they need me to be available for them.
I want to Minister to them and my beautiful Queen, so that they will love the Lord, and look forward to seeing HIM. It is my heart’s desire that they fall in love with Jesus and allow Him to lead and guide them in their own spiritual formation and development. This is my plan and I am sticking to it.
For Christ and His Kingdom
Leadership Ministries Worldwide. The Ministers Handbook. 1996.Chapter 1 part two your daily walk.Chatanooga TN: Alpha & Omega Ministries,
 Spiritual leadership, Henry & Richard Blackaby, Chapter 3The leaders preparation: how God develops leaders pg 31-84Published by Broadman and Holman 2001 Nashville TN
 Chapell Bryan, Christ Centered Preaching, Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids MI, 2006
 Spiritual leadership J.Oswald Sanders, Improving leadership pg 108-111, The Moody Bible Institute 1994, Chicago Il