Depending upon whose list you’d like to follow, there are a number of Spiritual Practices that I haven’t written about, and that I really doubt would work well in a blogging format. I’ve already mentioned Secrecy in passing, but there are a few others…
Submission is the practice of submitting oneself to proper Christian authority and being entirely accountable to them for our spiritual progress.
Service is a commitment to serve the needs of the Church and of others in need for the glory of God.
Chastity is a commitment to abstain from sexual relationships so that one may be fully engaged in following Christ.
Sacrifice is the practice of purposefully doing without for the service of those in need.
Worship is the practice of regular participation in corporate worship as well as adding worship to individual prayer time.
Celebration is the practice of filling one’s life with gratitude and thanksgiving for all that God has done in our lives.
Fellowship is the practice of being fully engaged in the life of the local church congregation to more fully advance the purposes of God in building the Body of Christ.
Confession is the regular practice of confessing our own sins and omissions to a trusted brother or sister, what we might call an “accountability partner” or pastor.
Obviously, these practices are not all viewed in exactly the same way from brotherhood to brotherhood, and yet as we look though the list, we will see that most of us engage already in one or more of them, perhaps without even being consciously aware of it.
When the dust settles, I’m sure that we will come to realize that not everyone will practice all of the Classical Disciplines, but we shouldn’t be surprised by this. It also doesn’t mean that we’re doing something wrong. Rather it is because we each have different personalities, backgrounds, experiences and approaches to God, and God is fine with that; He created us as unique bearers of His image. He knows just how to relate with each of us and will draw us to practices that best enhance our relationships with Him and that will best empower us to serve His purpose for our lives in Christ.
At this point, I’m going to step away from the Classical Spiritual Practices and move forward into Expressive Spiritual Practices. Some of these are relatively new, yet the category of Expressive Spiritual Practices has been with us from the very beginning of the Church, yet have not usually been spoken of as the Classics have been, and when we get back together, I think you’ll quickly see why that is.