Without regular attention, our spiritual health will decline and our spiritual vitality will wither and stagnate. Spiritual growth depends on feeding as much as physical growth. Here's a strategy for personal spiritual growth.
Without regular attention – watering, rotating toward the sun, misting leaves and so forth - the plants in our home won't survive. Some plants suffer if placed too close to heating vents, others can't handle temperatures immediately beside windows. Plants just don't seem to grow without regular attention.The same is true for our spiritual growth. Without regular attention - in a sense, watering, rotating toward the Son, and so forth - our spiritual health will decline and our spiritual vitality will wither and stagnate. Spiritual growth depends on feeding as much as physical growth. Here's a strategy for personal spiritual growth.
1. Define spiritual growth
Reading devotional books seems to be popular for most people, but reading books does not lead automatically to spiritual growth. We need to go beyond reading spiritually "warm and fuzzy" books to assimilating information, identifying what spiritual growth is, taking specific actions that help us identify what we want to be as spiritually mature Christians, and then sharing what we've discovered through interaction with others.
2. Make growth a priority
Spiritual growth comes when we set a specific time and develop a specific plan for spending time with God.
3. Set personal goals
Goals that we set for ourselves are more motivating than goals someone else sets. Write goals on a sheet of paper and place them where you can be reminded of them periodically.
4. Identify key resources
Certainly your Bible and devotional materials are important. Sometimes a key resource is another person with whom you can share your thoughts, feelings, and discoveries. Discipleship studies and other Christian books can be powerful resources for spiritual growth as well.
5. Develop accountability groups
Informal or formal accountability groups can motivate us to follow through on our commitments.
6. Model growth for others
If you teach or are another leader in your class, set the pace by modeling spiritual disciplines for growth for learners. Share information periodically that you've discovered, particularly when you have a remarkable spiritual insight - one of those Ah-ha moments.
7. Evaluate periodically
Remember the goals you set earlier? Go back at least once each quarter to see how you are progressing toward your goals and make adjustments as necessary.
8. Mentor others
As you grow spiritually, you are likely to want to share your growth with others. Enlist someone to be your spiritual apprentice and invest yourself in another person with whom you can share your spiritual pilgrimage. Mentoring others is how Jesus invested Himself in His followers.
Personal growth comes when Christians make an intentional effort to become more Christlike. Spiritual transformation is not automatic. Spiritual growth can be contagious, too. When others see the excitement that a closer walk with Christ can bring, they too will seek what you've discovered for your own life. Are you setting the pace for spiritual growth?