"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Gravitas and the Soul - Leadership Journal written by Craig Barnes allofit

The old pastors used to call it gravitas. You just cannot be ordained without it.

Gravitas is a condition of the soul that has developed enough spiritual mass to attract other souls. It makes the soul appear old, but gravitas has nothing to do with age. It has everything to do with scars that have healed well, failures that have been redeemed, sins that have been forgiven, and thorns that have settled into the flesh.

Gravitas expands the soul until it is larger than the body that contains it, large enough to hold the truth of the Word of God. And, like gravity, it pulls others not to the pastor but to the holy work that has occurred within the pastor's soul.

This gravity isn't a commodity that can be purchased with seminary tuition payments. It certainly isn't found in a library. A weighty soul has to be developed the hard way.

The early church found gravitas through persecution. The desert fathers and monks found it by abandoning comfort and entering a vocation of prayer. Most of the reformers found it in prison. The slaves found it by singing spirituals under the baking sun in the cotton fields. And pastors find gravitas in the congregation.

I believe gravitas comes with pain and grief. It also comes with great faith; acknowledging your are helpless and have no control; then acknowledging that God is God -- and I'm not.

Radically follow Jesus Christ and you'll have gravitas. He will prepare you for it.

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