spiritual growth guide
Thank you for seeking information on growing spiritually!
There are lots of misconceptions about how to grow spiritually. Many people think you have to take some series of high-level Bible study classes or attend in depth seminars. While those things do help people grow in their faith, they are no substitute for developing certain habits that God promises in His Word will help you grow spiritually. See if you recognize any of this list of 8 spiritual growth catalysts in yourself.
1. I attend Fall Creek every Sunday I am in town.
The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” One of the most important things you can do for your spiritual growth is simply meeting together with other Christ-followers at church each week to encourage each other to stay faithful in our journey with Jesus and with each other. God has always challenged His people to meet together weekly to worship Him.
2. I fully participate in a Growth Group each semester.
This step to growing spiritually relates closely to the previous one. However, meeting together in a small group has its own unique advantages. The Bible says in Acts 5:42, “Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.” These “house to house” teaching sessions are also called small group meetings. They give you the opportunity to strengthen friendships, ask questions to help you learn more quickly, and provide you with opportunities to put your faith into practice. At Fall Creek, we call these small groups Growth Groups and offer three semesters lasting four months each year. The spring semester begins in January. The summer semester begins in May. The fall semester begins in September.
3. I memorize the weekly memory verse.
At Fall Creek, we pick a single verse that speaks most closely to the topic of the message each week for you to memorize. This not only helps you remember what you learned from Sunday to Sunday, but it also provides you with an anchor point to drive God’s truth deeper into your heart. The Bible says in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Sin is what separates us from God and stunts our spiritual growth. The surest way to put God’s Word into your heart is through memorizing it. You will never know how powerful this discipline is for helping you conquer sin and grow spiritually until you try it. At Fall Creek, you have a ready made mechanism to help you grow on a weekly basis.
4. I give a regular offering in a God-honoring way.
Another way to take your spiritual temperature and find out about your heart is by paying attention to your giving to God. Jesus noted that there is a direct link between your heart and your money, when he said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). If you want to grow spiritually, an important ingredient in that journey is putting your money in a place where your heart will naturally follow. If you give to God and His work, your heart will be drawn closer to Him and what He is doing in the world around you. It is a spiritual axiom: those who joyfully give to God find themselves close to God. Our members can testify to the growth and freedom they enjoy when they learn to give joyfully to God through offerings.
5. I serve in a ministry where I am needed and comfortable.
Jesus said that he came to serve. He has called his followers to do no less. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” When we step up to serve, we become instruments of extending God’s grace in the world. By investing our gifts in service to others, God guarantees a return on that investment that includes our own growth (see Matthew 25:15ff). One of the things about Spiritual gifts is that when you use them you are energized, even as you are drained. It can be exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time to serve others with the gifts God has given you.
6. I regularly pray for and invite my friends to Fall Creek.
Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Simply put, if we are not fishing for people, we are not following Jesus. At Fall Creek, we seek to partner with you in helping you grow in this area of your walk with Jesus by encouraging you to “invest and invite” as a strategy for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. The very least any of us can do is to simply say to our friends, “come and see,” by inviting them to a church service to hear about Jesus. Nothing will enhance your spiritual growth more than investing in the lives of others and inviting them to come and see what a difference Jesus can make in their lives. Conversely, nothing will stifle your growth more than keeping quiet about your faith and keeping it for yourself.
7. I continue to develop a habit of regular Bible reading.
After you have become a Christ-follower, one of the most important habits you can develop for your growth is to read the Bible. First, the Bible is a different sort of book (see 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and Hebrews 4:12). It not only feeds your mind, but it feeds your soul. If your soul is going to grow, it needs “soul food.” The Bible is all four of the basic food groups rolled into one when it comes to spiritual nourishment. In 1 Peter 2:2, it says, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” There isn’t any purer spiritual milk than the Word of God, the Bible. If you want to grow, you gotta have it. At Fall Creek, Pastor John leads Bible reading plans through YouVersion.com and Twitter.
8. I pray to God often.
Finally, you have to develop the habit of talking to God. That’s all that prayer is… talking to God. He invites you in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” God wants you to talk to Him and He wants to talk to you. In all of your closest relationships, you have to make plenty of time for talking. There are lots of things you can learn to include in your prayers (see Matthew 6:6-13), but the most important thing is that you learn to talk to God to the point that you are comfortable in His presence. Growing in your habit of prayer will assure spiritual growth in your life.
It’s not the checklist that makes you spiritual, but trusting God enough to renew your walk with Him on a weekly basis. There is no magic formula for spiritual growth. Spiritual growth simply requires that you learn to walk with God. When you walk with Him, you will grow in knowledge, wisdom, and ability. One thing is for sure: you cannot stay where you are and go with God at the same time.
If you would like to know more about growing spiritually, email one of our staff members by using their first name, followed by @fallcreekbaptist.com or call 317.841.9770. We would be happy to help you take that next step in your spiritual growth.