Sacred Pathways

This was a summary done by Best Friend R (yes, she’s brilliant) of the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas…

Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas

“Sacred pathways…describes the way we relate to God, how we draw near to him.”

Naturalist: Loving God Out of Doors

· Naturalists are moved by creation.  They believe nature clearly point to God.  Creation prompts them to worship.  They believe that looking at the ordinary helps to reveal some of the mystery of God.

Sensates: Loving God with the Senses

· Sensates “want to be lost in the awe, beauty, and splendor of God”.  Sights, sounds, and smells are all part of worship.  They use the five senses to delight in God.

Traditionalists: Loving God through Ritual and Symbol

· Traditionalists are fed by the “historic dimensions of faith: rituals, symbols, sacraments, and sacrifice”.  They find discipline, ritual, and structure nurishing.

Ascetics: Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity

· Ascetics “live a fundamentally internal existence”.  They connect with God in the quite and with prayer.  They do not want distractions.

Activists: Loving God Through Confrontation

· Activists “serve a God of justice”.  They see worship as living against evil and calling sinners to repent.  They focus on living truth and confronting injustice to change society.

Caregivers: Loving God by Loving Others

· Caregivers “serve God by serving others”.  They see Jesus in the needy.  Caring for others is energizing and they love God through loving others through service.

Enthusiasts: Loving God with Mystery and Celebration

· Enthusiasts need “excitement and mystery in worship…joyful celebration.”  They want to experience, feel and be moved by God.

Contemplatives: Loving God through Adoration

· Contemplatives see God in “images of a loving Father and Bridegroom.”  They seek simply to love God deeply.

Intellectuals: Loving God with the Mind

· Intellectuals like to study doctrines and “live in the world of concepts.”  For them faith is to “be understood as much as experienced.”


What pathway do you primarily use to draw near to God?  Why?

Which have you rarely used?  Why?

Which would you like to try to incorporate into your life more?  What would hinder you?

What is the benefit of approaching God in different ways?


~ by Eva on January 24, 2010.

4 Responses to “Sacred Pathways”

  1. Ohhhh, this is good! There are a few I think I could be…hmmm. I’ll have to think on it. Would you mind if I copied this to my blog if I credited you? I have a few ladies there I think would find this intriguing as well. It’s really neat how there is variety in the ways we worship/relate/draw near to God. I’d never thought much on this before. Thought-provoking!!

    Thanks for sharing it!

  2. I know, I thought it was quite thought-provoking as well!

    As far that copying this to your blog that’s a question for R (maybe I should have asked if I could put this here at all… whoops. Sorry, R. Do you mind if I leave it?) … I’ll let her respond…

  3. Yes you are fine, Eva.
    Susanne – just make sure you acknowledge that it’s a summary of Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways. (if you want my name: Rochelle Matthews Stoltzfus)

  4. Eva, Rochelle…thanks so much! I will be sure to give credit to whom it is due! 😀

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