Growing in Christ

Do you want to grow in Christ?  How badly do you want to grow?  Do you know how to grow?  As much as I desire to see people experience spiritual growth, I have come to realize that it cannot be forced.  When I was a kid I planted some garden seeds in a plot of ground.  I was so eager to see if they had sprouted that I dug them up every day to see if anything had happened.  It really was not good for them.  Living things will grow.  Growing things are alive.  Let me give you a checklist if you are interested in spiritual growth.

1. Get access to growth materials that are suited to your own spiritual development so far.                             Some people need basic materials like a resource I have written called, Following Jesus.  Some need to do a study like Experiencing God.  Some are ready for MasterLife.  All but the first of these is available at Lifeway.  The Survival Kit for New Christians is also a good resource for beginners.          The ultimate spiritual growth book is the Bible itself.  Study John’s gospel carefully.  Read and study the other gospels.  Always start with them so that you are well acquainted with Jesus.  You may need assistance in studying the Old Testament, but read it anyway.  God honors His Word.

2.Be faithful in attendance.  No one ever grew spiritually who was inconsistent in attending worship.  Like the seeds that were continually uprooted so is the person who does not consistently seek spiritual food and fellowship. God does things when His people are together that happen nowhere else.

3. Learn to pray.  One way to learn to pray is by praying.  Another way is seeking specific resources on prayer.  My favorite is The Disciple’s Prayer Life by T.W. Hunt.

4. Serve in some ministry alongside other mature Christians.  A large part of my own spiritual growth came in the laboratory of Christian ministry where I was privileged to minister alongside others who had served more years than I had.  Most churches are constantly needing help in ministry.  Don’t rule out missions opportunities as a way of growing in Christ.

5. Refuse to let Satan discourage you or derail you in your journey in Christ.  When you become a Christian, you can count on challenges to your faith.  Satan is real and he is angry that you have decided to follow Jesus.  He will seek to distract, discourage, and destroy your faith.  “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Dan Wooldridge

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