When We’re Not All “There”

No parent, no spouse, no friend—and no pastoral leader—can be fully present or emotionally engaged all the time. That may be because of any number of very legitimate reasons: depression, sleeplessness, or an overwhelming concern for a member of one’s own family or congregation. What we can aim for is a Spirit-shaped constancy, in which healthy habits of engagement carry us through when we are not “feeling it” in the moment. Such constancy is no less a gift of the Spirit than a vivid emotionally engaged experience of worship.

—John Witvliet, Reformed Worship 116:45

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