Three steps to personal spiritual growth
By Jim Boesch
Whether you are a brand-new follower of Christ, wondering where to get started on your journey or a maturing Christian looking for ways to grow even closer to Christ, a personal spiritual growth plan can help you figure out what steps you need to take to grow.
Use the following steps:
1.Make time to connect with God.
As a Christ follower, our relationship with God is the most important relationship we can have. To keep this relationship thriving, we must spend time with God learning more about him while connecting and growing closer to Him.
a. Read and reflect on the Bible. Find a Bible reading plan that’s right for you. The Bible is God’s word where we learn about God and Jesus through the words and the stories that reveal them to us.
b. Pray. Prayer is simply talking with God. Give thanks to the Lord daily. Pray for others in need. Pray for direction. Pray for your own concerns. Be in continual conversation with God by making prayer a part of your daily routine.
c. Join a Bible study or prayer group. God created us to live in community and it’s in these Christ-centered relationships with others that we grow spiritually. We share our lives with other followers as we disciple, encourage, and challenge each other in our faith.
2.Connect with other Christ followers.
God created us to live in community with others and did not create us to walk through life alone. Authentic spiritual growth does not happen outside of relationships. Here are some ways to connect:
a. Attend church services regularly. The Bible encourages us to meet regularly with other followers (Hebrews 10:25). Serving a local church is fundamental to spiritual growth as in doing so we get opportunities to share our lives with other Christ followers and believers. In a community of faith, God uses other people to help us through a struggle or give us encouragement while using us to speak and minister to others.
b. Be part of a small group. Small groups allow us to connect with other believers and followers for encouragement and accountability. The Bible tells us to “carry one another’s burdens.” Small groups can be that place.
c. Be in mission serving others. There are many ways to serve both inside and outside of the church:
- Get involved in a ministry-through-men group. Many of our churches offer varying formats of this that can provide many ministry opportunities. Pray and ask God where He is calling you to serve. When we respond to our calling, we live into God’s purpose for our lives and excel in our walk with Christ.
- Get involved in missions. Missions give us an opportunity to serve God through meeting the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of other people, while often being empowered with God’s Spirit in doing so.
God has created us on purpose for a purpose. Our relationship with God is not just about “doing”. It is first about “being” who God want us to be in all aspects of our lives, not just our church lives.
What part of your life do you need to allow God to be more a part of? Is it your relationship with Him? With others? What area of your spiritual life provides you the best opportunity for growth?
If you have an interest in what this personal spiritual growth plan could look like for you, please contact me, and I will gladly share a template to support you in this endeavor.
*This Spiritual Growth Plan is adapted with permission from River of Life UMC, Jacksonville Fla.
Jim Boesch, deployed staff