We are told by behaviorists that if we do any repetitive action 21 times, it usually develops into a habit. If this is correct, this concept has both negative and positive implications for our lives. When it comes to spiritual disciplines, repetitive pat- terns can have a very positive effect on integrating good habits into one’s life – in a relatively short space of time.
What should those habits be, and what aspects of spiritual discipline should we concentrate on as worshipers? Whatever ministry or leadership role you are involved in, it may be gifting that will get you in, but it is spiritual character that will keep you there for the long haul. Much of what it means to build godly character has to do with building good habits into our lives. I briefly suggest three habits that are vital for building spiritually healthy worshipers, worship leaders and worship team members:
Habit 1: Read And Study The Bible.
I would put the reading and studying of the Bible at the top of the list. It is a tragedy that so many Christians spend so little time reading the Bible – let alone studying it. If only we could love reading the Bible as much as we love watching television or movies! For me, it is the absolute foundation of all that I do spiritually. I recently heard biblical scholar Gordon Fee speak at our Vineyard UK National Leader’s Conference, where he reminded us that the Bible was never meant to be read silently, but rather to be heard by reading it aloud. That is good food for thought when it comes to getting the Word of God imprinted deeply into our souls.
Habit 2: Pray And Meditate.
I would call us to spend time in prayer and meditation, both spending time with God alone and spending time with Him in a corporate setting. Prayer changes everything, yet is so easy to neglect – to put aside as tomorrow’s job. We will never find time to pray; we will always have to make time to pray.
Habit 3: Care For The Poor.
I would strongly suggest that every follower of Christ make compassion ministry a habit in their daily and weekly schedule. If we forget the poor, we will forget what moves God’s heart in this world.
There are many other wonderful spiritual patterns to incorporate into our lives such as practicing silence, embracing community, and even giving thanks, that I would put high on my list. However, I think the strongest long-term foundations are always built around the three disciplines mentioned above.
Take courage; you can, by the grace of God, establish patterns in your life that will build you over time, and keep you from breaking in the weaker moments. Just think – only 21 days to go to establish spiritual patterns that can change our destiny!