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Dallas Willard: The Secret to Ministry Satisfaction

Steps Toward Finding Satisfaction in Christ

We can take steps to find this deep satisfaction and to preach from the well within us.

I encourage pastors to have substantial times every week when they do nothing but enjoy God. That may mean walking by a stream, looking at a flower, listening to music, or watching your children or grandchildren play without your constantly trying to control them. Experience the fullness of God, think about the good things God has done for you, and realize he has done well by you. If there is a problem doing that, then work through the problem, because we cannot really serve him if we do not genuinely love him.

Henri Nouwen said the main obstacle to love for God is service for God. Service must come out of his strength and life flowing through us into receptive lives. Take an hour, sit in a comfortable place in silence, and do nothing but rest. If you go to sleep, that’s OK. We have to stop trying too hard. There may be a few pastors for whom that is not the problem, but for most, it is. We need to do that not only for ourselves but to set an example for those to whom we speak.

There is a place for effort, but it never earns anything and must never take the place of God with us. Our efforts are to make room for him in our lives.

Taken from The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching, by CRAIG BRIAN LARSON; HADDON ROBINSON. Copyright © 2005 by Christianity Today International. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.

Image Credit: Joe Cavazos via CreationSwap.com

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DALLAS WILLARD was a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He taught at USC, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He also taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1960-1965), and held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984). Dallas Willard passed away on May 8, 2013, at the age of 77.