Seedbed is pleased to offer a new resource that will help awaken slumbering, backsliding, or apathetic Christians from the stagnation that tends to confront all followers of Jesus at one point or another. Lenny Luchetti, professor of proclamation and Christian studies at Wesley Seminary, presents grace-laden stories as well as piercing truths that can help us see ourselves and God more clearly. Get your copy from our store here.
What is spiritual slump and what kind of people experience it? What are some examples of it in Scripture?
The person in the spiritual slump experiences a diminished desire for intimacy with God through practices like prayer, bible reading and Christian fellowship. Every disciple will, at some point, battle spiritual aridity, apathy and stagnancy. Several so-called heroes in the Bible experienced the same. Abraham slumped into manipulative lying. Peter slumped into fearful denial. David slumped into boredom, lust, adultery and murder. The spiritual slump can happen to the best of disciples.
What are some unhelpful ways of walking through a spiritual slump?
Isolation from God and people gives the slump increased power. Yet, isolation for the slumping disciple feels so natural. The slumping Christian is tempted to seek after harmful escapes from their apathy and despondence. Some throw themselves into work, food, and entertainment like binge-watching their favorite sitcom. Others slump into escapes like drugs, alcohol, and porn. It’s crucial that the slumping disciple leans into God and healthy friends, disclosing the slump and asking for help.
What would you say to someone who puts off spiritual awakening as a matter for something to deal with in the future?
Perhaps that’s what King David thought. “I’ll get back to intimacy with God. I’ll get back on track after I sow my wild oats. I’ll be okay.” But David’s distance from God made him vulnerable to sins he probably never imagined he would commit—adultery, and murder to cover it up. Maybe he even said what we sometimes think, “I may be going through a dry season spiritually, but I never killed anybody.” Distance from God creates space for disobedience. Distance from God makes the Goliaths around us seem bigger than God. Don’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today.
How do personal agency and grace meet in overcoming spiritual slumps? Does God’s posture toward people in a spiritual depression change?
Any movement out of the spiritual slump is initiated by God. When the wheels of our spiritual lives are stuck deep in a muddy rut, we need a tow truck of grace to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. That’s what God did for David by sending the prophet Nathan to lovingly confront David. Once David experienced the tow truck of God’s grace, he did his part to get spiritually healthy. He detested and disclosed his slump. He also made basic and drastic decisions to get out of the slump and stay on a streak.
How can pastors, friends, family come alongside people who are in low spots, spiritually?
Most slumping disciples don’t have language to articulate what they’re going through. Those who do, might not have a safe space to talk about it. I wrote this book to provide language and safety for those stuck in a slump. There are several ways we can help those who feel stuck. First, we can listen without judgment. Second, we can share honestly about our own experiences of acedia (spiritual apathy or depression). Finally, we can give them a copy of this book and a small group environment in which to process it!
Who is this book’s audience, and how might a person or group use this and the videos together?
I wrote this book to provide language and safety for people who feel spiritual stagnant and stuck. I have been there, several times in my Christian journey. Loneliness, self-loathing, and despair nearly got the best of me. But as I shared my struggle I discovered that even the most vibrant, mature disciples have experienced the slump and come out the better for it. I hope pastors will put this book in the hands of their people. It would be great if the church could come together on a Wednesday or Sunday evening to view my brief teaching videos and then discuss the reflection questions at the end of each chapter in small groups. Reading the book, watching the videos, and reflecting in community are, I pray, a recipe for overcoming spiritual slump.
What is God’s message to the person in a spiritual slump?
From the very beginning, I sensed rather clearly that God wanted me to write this book. It was palpable. I believe God wants to communicate through the book to those in a slump, “I love you as much as I ever have or ever will. You are not alone. You are not stuck. Access my grace and I will redeem the slump so it doesn’t destroy but deepens you.”
A spiritual slump can deepen not destroy us, if we grab onto the rope of God’s grace and hold on for dear life. It has been said, “the same sun that melts the wax also hardens the clay.” Exploring the life of the Bible’s King David, this book and video series presents a process for overcoming the slump so we reach our potential for a faithful, fruitful, and fulfilled life in Christ.
- Christians embarrassed or ashamed of being in a spiritual slump
- Church leaders needing a guide or content to lead congregants through spiritual depression
- Anyone who yearns to be awakened to God’s love for them
- Focused group trainings around spiritual slumps (videos sold separately)
In these pages you’ll:
- Realize that God’s love for you is not contingent upon your spiritual condition
- Overcome shame and stigma by discovering that many Christians experience times of spiritual apathy
- Be encouraged to disclose your slump to people who can support you
- Have language and tools not only to help you but to assist others in overcoming the spiritual slump