Reflections on Naked Spirituality: Liturgy is a start

A reader writes:

I attended your talk [recently] at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, KY. I bought your book, Naked Spirituality, but I had not started reading it yet. Nonetheless, I gained a lot from your talk about stages of spirituality (or seasons), and I certainly intend on reading the book.
As I was listening, I had an emerging idea for incorporating ALL stages of spirituality into our church institutions. But before I get to that, I’d like to tell you what inspired the idea.
I am currently reading Why Empathy Matters: The Science and Psychology of Better Judgment by JD Trout. His thesis is that humans have inherent cognitive biases that often are best managed through external cues (e.g., changing our environments to promote the best behaviors). Trout does not address spiritual matters at all but rather traverses the landscape of social policies and government. He proposes that our government should establish institutions whereby policy enforces good judgment that otherwise may not take place if left to the discretion of the individual and all her cognitive biases. An existing example is the Social Security Administration that oversees and automatically takes a portion of employees’ pay which is intended to benefit employees when they retire. It is safe to assume based on evidence from cognitive psychology and other fields, that most people would take that money intended for retirement and spend it in the here and now rather than tuck it away for their sunset years if given the choice. Thus, the SSA is an institution governed by a social policy that automatically takes care of the fact that most people lack the ability to save consistently and for the long-term.
Trout’s book may make it sound as though humans aren’t all that intelligent and cannot be trusted to make wise decisions. However, I think he is acknowledging our basic limitations and how we can still be successful in the face of these limitations by externalizing some of how we strive to be better humans.
I think a similar thing is at work in our churches. We leave a lot of decisions up to church leaders (many of whom are not even representative of the church members being served) rather than building church policies that could respect and honor each spiritual stage you outline. I liked your idea of revisiting and maybe building on liturgy as a means to form appropriate habits and awareness of the varying spiritual seasons with which we are all grappling. I think liturgy is a start. I think it should continue in other capacities that do not depend solely on human judgments. Of course, these institutions can and should always be open to critique and reform because spirituality is dynamic and unfinished. As an aside, I think more churches should be informed by scientific evidence regarding human behavior in addition to biblical evidence. I for one find so much wisdom and insight from varied sources that have nothing to do (at least explicitly) with spirituality.