(This week’s blogs will focus on the Personal Worship Movement of Whole Life Worship)
Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created me in my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” This implies God’s custom work in each of our lives. Each of us is unique. No one person is exactly alike another. Each of us manifests the image of God in a way like no other. And because of that, each of us is wired differently in our connection to God.
Why then do we try to connect with God in one way? The idea of quiet time or devotional time, perpetuated by well-meaning Christian pastors and leaders, is this cookie cutter approach: we sit at a desk at an “earlier-than-we-want” time of day with Bible and journal in hand to spend our 30-60 minute exercise in spiritual discipline. And while that suits some people fine, for others it’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Two authors, Gary Thomas (#sacredpathways) and Myra Perrine (#whatsyourgodlanguage, Salt River press), have helped me to understand something that has been on my mind for a long time: that there are many ways to have meaningful connection with Christ. Just as each of us have unique personalities that relate with other people differently, we also have different ways in how we best relate/connect with God. Thomas and Perrine call these “Spiritual Temperaments.” They list nine different categories that people have connected with God (with Personal Worship practices/focus in parentheses):
1. Activist – loves God through confronting evil (times of intercession, spiritual warfare)
2. Ascetic – loves God through solitude and simplicity (fasting, silent environment)
3. Caregiver – loves God through serving others (prayer lists of people in need)
4. Contemplative – loves God through adoration (focusing on intimacy)
5. Enthusiast – loves God through mystery and celebration (worshiping through music)
6. Intellectual – loves God through the mind (extended Bible study)
7. Naturalist – loves God through experiencing the outdoors (prayer walks, having PW in a garden or park)
8. Sensate – loves God through the senses (lighting candles, burning incense)
9. Traditionalist – loves God through ritual and symbol (cross, study hymns, fixed hour prayer)
Do any of these temperaments resonate with your soul? I encourage you to explore ways you can express this temperament in your Personal Worship. It brings God joy to see you connect with Him the way He wired you.
(note: Among other things, Perrine’s book has a helpful assessment tool to help you discover your spiritual temperaments)