The past year has been absolutely incredible. I have had the amazing privilege of pioneering and launching the Garretson Campus of The Rescue Church. One of the primary reasons we launch new campuses is to reach those who are far from God. Specifically, we do not seek transfer growth (growing via members of other churches coming). We intentionally seek to preach Christ to those who are currently separated from Him.
As a result, we have seen many people either commit their lives to Jesus for the first time or re-commit their lives to Him. Practically, this calls for discipleship in the church. We have to purposely develop these new Christians so that they are firmly rooted in the Gospel.
Whether you are a new Christian or have been following Jesus for decades, below are some practical steps for YOU to grow in your faith:
Set apart a time for Bible reading and prayer DAILY!
If you do NOT want to grow as a Christian, do not open the Bible on your own! Unfortunately, this is the route many Christians take. We have a tendency to believe going to church once a week and having a pastor teach us the Bible is sufficient enough for spiritual growth.
YOU NEED TO READ THE BIBLE ON YOUR OWN!!
Yes, I know it can be intimidating but there are many tools to help you along the way. I would recommend the following –
- Bible Reading Plan (Begin with the New Testament)
- Life Application Study Bible
- Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods
As you figure out a reading process that works best for you, you also need to set apart a specific time each day. You need to MAKE time to be in the Word of God. Make it as an appointment and keep it as strictly as you would anything else – It is INFINITELY more important than any human meeting you could possibly have!
Be INVOLVED with a local church!
I am disgusted with arrogant Christians who claim they do not need the local church. They cloak their pride behind slick spiritual phrases and use the imperfections of the church to excuse their disobedience. No, the church is not perfect which is EXACTLY why you would fit right in!
The following activities do NOT replace the local church:
- Having coffee (or lunch, or bible study, etc.) with your Christian friends.
- Watching church online or on your television.
- Reading the Bible and worshiping on your own.
All of those things mentioned above are GOOD but they are NOT a replacement for your local church. In the future I will write a post on why those things are not a biblical church. Suffice it to say, Paul makes it abundantly clear in the pastoral epistles that the church has an organized structure consisting of ordained elders, qualified deacons, and the sacraments (communion, baptism).
DISCLAIMER: If you live in a community that is hostile towards Christianity and the only way for you to meet is outside of a church structure, that is a different scenario. If you live in the West (which most reading this do) BE OBEDIENT to Hebrews 10:25 by committing to an imperfect, local church.
Share what you are learning!
As Christians we are similar to sponges. As we study Scripture, spend time in prayer, and learn from qualified teachers, we absorb information and application. As we practice these spiritual disciplines daily, we need to “squeeze” ourselves and, like a sponge, allow the information to flow out of us. This does not mean you need to become a preacher; you simply need to encourage others by sharing what you are learning.
This happens informally as you talk with your family and friends. Ask your friends what they have been learning lately through God’s Word and listen to what they have to say. Afterwards, you can share with them what God is teaching you. This process of mutual teaching and encouragement will enable you to grow both in your faith and love for others.
One of the ways I do this is by writing blog posts! Heck, if you have the gift of writing it would be an honor to have YOU feature on tylerramsbey.com!
These are only a few of the ways you can grow in your faith. What are some of the disciplines YOU practice in your own life that God has used to shape you? Let me know by leaving a comment!