Thriving Clergy
Everything in the pastor’s life flows from and is dependent upon the spiritual condition of the heart.
It is vital to maintain and grow in the love of God and others at the core of one’s being. Nurturing a vibrant spiritual life comes through practicing a variety of means of grace such as a life of prayer, reflection on Scripture, fasting, personal retreats, confession, spiritual direction, and Sabbath practice to name a few. All of this occurs within the context of God’s enabling grace.

Love

Living God’s Love: An Invitation to Christian Spirituality

Gary Holloway
Helps orient us to a relationship with God that starts and flows from God’s unconditional love for us.

Surrender to love: Discovering the heart of Christian Spirituality

David Benner
This little book pulls us back to the central reality that many of us have either forgotten or never fully realized: God loves us. Everything else emerges and flows from that truth.

Sola Sancta Carnitas: One Holy Love

                                                                                           Dr. Joe Dongell (Asbury Theological Seminary) conducted an extensive study of John Wesley’s writings and identified “holy love” as the center of John Wesley’s theology (2014). Click here to read and download.

Spiritual Disciplines

Dallas Willard Center

Westmont College
Developing and supporting a new generation of thought leaders who experience and articulate an interactive relationship with Jesus Christ. Website

Celebration of Discipline

Richard Foster
What has now become a “classic” introduction to the various spiritual disciplines.

Sacred Rhythms

Ruth Haley Barton
An engaging writer who helps focus on developing intimacy with God through classic disciplines. Practical reflective questions and a guide to developing a daily office tailored to the individual.

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

Adele Calhoun
An overview of many spiritual practices and great ways to implement them into our lives. It is indeed a “handbook.”

Eat this Book

Eugene Peterson
Peterson presents a very thoughtful book on slowing down our reading to reflect better and to listen for the voice of God.

Sacred Pathways

Gary Thomas
An effective guide to finding your own individual path to experiencing spiritual practices.

How is God with us?
Dallas Willard

Personal Spiritual Disciplines
Dallas Willard

The need for intimacy with God
Ruth Haley Barton

How bad do you want it?
Ruth Haley Barton

Retreats

Retreats

Larry Wilson has been compiling retreat locations for pastors for many years with state-by-state listing of retreat sites for pastors, along with a guide to general costs (some are free!). Larry’s website also offers his Blog and other resources that pastors will find both helpful and thought-provoking.

Rhythms of Grace

Linda Gist is the director of Rhythms of Grace an encounter where pastors receive a taste of deeper intimacy with God through vision casting, hands-on experiences and Christian community. Second, facilitating on-going spiritual formation small groups with local pastors. Check out the Encounter information on the Events page.

Sabbath

Matthew Sleeth

Sleeth presents a strong case and guide for reclaiming God’s design for sabbath practice.

Matthew and Nancy Sleeth

This Matthew and Nancy Sleeth website is devoted to slowing down and reclaiming Sabbath practices. Many quality resources here.

Prayer

Mark Batterson
One of the best contemporary books on prayer.

E. M. Bounds
An inspirational classic. A book that inspires you to pray and realize how God uses your prayers to change the world.

Richard Foster Author
One of the best modern treatments of prayer. Foster identifies many types of prayer approaches and writes in an engaging style.

Bill Hybels
A time-tested book that teaches us the necessity of slowing down to engage in God’s way of changing the world.

Dallas Willard
A thoughtful book that identifies ways to cultivate a deeper life of conversation with God grounded in Scripture.

Pete Greig
Praying for the little things increases our gratitude helps us to honor God in with our lives.

Soul Care

“Soul Shepherding”

Bill and Kristi Gaultiere
A website that helps cultivate intimacy with Jesus for pastors, pastors’ spouses, ministry leaders, and counselors.

A Pastor Trusts the Wonderful Counselor in His Dark Knight

Bill Gaultiere
An article on Henri Nouwen’s experience with the dark night of the soul

Seven Things I Hate About Spiritual Formation

John Ortberg
A brief, clear article that identifies the central concern of spiritual formation

 Ruth Haley Barton
This book is an invitation to you to meet God deeply and fully outside the demands and noise of daily life. It is an invitation to solitude and silence.

Anthony J. Headley
Headley offers a model for ministry that takes into account the humanity of the pastor.

Kirk Byron Jones
In a personal way, Jones identifies factors that can lead to pastoral burnout and effective measures for pastors to care for themselves.