|A New Look At Spirituality by Bishop Richard K. Thompson|
The sin that the modern day Christians must repent of is that of shallow spirituality. Having a form of spirituality but denying the power that it brings.
Scripture Reading: John 4:1-23
Bishop Richard K. Thompson
There is a difference in being spirited and being spiritual. Many people in the church are highly spirited while spirituality is missing. To be spirited while not being spiritual is to possess the form without the substance of spirituality.
Spirituality cannot be coerced or manipulated. Many attempts are made to cause people to feel spiritual, i.e. Let the church say Amen, Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus, and Give God a hand clap of praise. In reality, spirituality is not a feeling or declaration alone, rather, it is an approach to life and living.
It is an approach that gives stability in the midst of a storm. It gives assurance that God is in charge providing, fixing, and above all sustaining His people in their time of need. According to Bishop Payne, spiritual development is a process. It unfolds through an organized program that provides instruction and that supports disciplined efforts. Spiritual Development occurs within an individual, but not in the absence of other people.
Spiritual development is not an event but rather a way of life that leads to a deeper and more powerful relationship to God. Sudden conversions are merely anecdotes to spiritual work. In other words, there is no graduation from the Christian faith just an ever-deepening experience with God. Therefore, spiritual development takes time, effort, and patience. It is both a commitment and dedication.
The church is well qualified to direct spiritual development. We have at least two hundred years of testimony that God is present in our lives; that he, indeed will make a way somehow.
I challenge us to make spiritual development a priority during this conference year. Let us leave the elementary and go on to the deep waters with God. The pathway that leads to the deeper waters is found in study of the Word of God, and giving service to our fellow human beings and becoming good stewards of our time, talent, treasures, and tongue.
The Episcopal Committee of the 50th Quadrennial Session of the AME Zion Church General Conference makes the following Episcopal Leadership Assignments for the 2016-2020 Quadrennial.