It’s been over a year now since I read Gordon MacDonald’s book on Deep People. He sees a serious shortage of these kinds of people. See what you think: Deep people “demonstrate a consistent loyalty to Jesus and speak of him (often) as their redeemer and Lord; have a hunger to keep on growing in every aspect of their lives, regardless of age; have a clear sense of how a Christian conducts him/herself in the larger world; maintain personal relationships that appear to be healthy and life-giving; are respected because of their wisdom and integrity; are aware of how the Holy Spirit has gifted them and possess a sense of personal mission or call; love to inspire and lead others toward personal Christian growth; have firm convictions about faith, yet are not rigid, pushy, or judgmental; are generous with what they have and always seem to know just how to serve others; are compassionate, the first ones to spot people who need counsel or encouragement; are people you love to be with because they love life and seem to know the best ways to live it; and are influential wherever they go” (pp.179-180).
Not bad as a resolution for the New Year. As you look at these characteristics, which ones do you need to pray about this month? I know that we cannot demonstrate consistent loyalty without Holy Spirit empowerment. Come to think about it, we need the Spirit to keep us hungry to grow as well. Deep people are Christlike disciples. Why not take each of the above separately and reflect and pray about each one throughout the first month of the New Year. An appropriate prayer might be, grow this characteristic in me. We really need this kind of people in our churches. Richard Foster is so right to say, “The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” Lord, grow us into the deep people you need us to be in the coming year.
David F. Nixon, D.Min
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