In a series of messages on The Christian Home, I am speaking about Christian growth for adults. We talked about children and the importance of Sunday school being a "discussion primer" for parents. We talked about youth ministry and the importance of helping youth discover and utilize their gifts in ministry. How do we help adults become "spiritual self feeders" and help them move to maturity.
There are four "B"s to remember:
1. Be a worshipper. The first key to Christian spiritual growth is to learn to give time and attention to the private and public worship of God. Daily prayer and meditation fuels the power of weekly (or more often) community celebrations of God's grace and mercy. Worship is "loving the LORD our God with all our heart, soul and strength."
2. Be a member of the family. Contrary to some contemporary American understandings, Christianity is a group and community experience. In order to grow I have to learn to live my life in community and in convenantal relationships. I have my covenant group of others pastors (see their blogs listed above); I have a covenantal relationship with my prayer partners; I am in covenant with the other United Methodist clergy in my Annual Conference and so on. Being a member of the family means I will participate in large and small group events with other Christians.
3. Be a student of the faith. Jesus says to go and baptize . . . teaching them. . . Learning the words and way of God is vital to spiritual growth. Learning how to connect and stay connected with the holy, learning how to recognize the voice of God in the din and confusion of the modern world, learning of the experiences of God recorded in the past -- these are all ways we are students of the faith. Read the Bible, study the text and learn with others.
4. Be a servant. Every Christ follower is called, gifted and sent into Christian ministry. EVERY Christ follower! I grow spiritually when I learn to give back, to "get in the game", to get my hands dirty trying to make a difference in the lives of others. Ministry is what Christians do for each other in community. Mission is what we do in the name of Jesus for others.
Being trumps doing. I believe too many of us try to "do" before we have attended to our "being". If we will be worshippers, members, students, and servants -- we will "do" God's will.
Be a blessing