Embrace. Discover. Wonder. Desire. Intentional. Encounter. Experience. Awaken. Train. These are some words that describe the dynamic process of spiritual growth. Though we are all at different places on our spiritual journey, one thing is for sure…in the midst of our busy, scattered, exhausted and hurting lives…we want to experience truly changed lives...a change that goes beyond tweaking our behavior, but a fundamental change deep in our souls.  We’re tired of trying so hard to look spiritual all the while having a gnawing hunger for an authentic encounter with God.

Our desire is for Faith Assembly to be a place where you explore not only what it means to be a follower of Christ, but how to live in such a way that you experience a deeper awareness of His presence in your everyday life.  Where worship becomes a way of life and missions becomes a way of being in the world with God.  At Faith we offer a variety of opportunities and environments to help you grow spiritually and genuinely experience the reality of life in the Kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches that our true and fullest purpose in life is to become like Jesus.  The big question is, "how does this happen?"  Growth is never one-dimensional.  It happens in a variety of ways and only as we are intentional.  We can’t make ourselves grow in Christlikeness by willpower or trying harder.  What we can do is place ourselves in environments and places of encounter where growth can happen.  To intentionally commit ourselves to the continual process of growth and union with Christ is a life-shaping thing.  By making space for God in our lives through practices, relationships, and experiences, we grow in love — incarnating the presence of Christ in our world.



Where Are You?

Before you can take your next step, you need to know where you are, because the practices that spark new growth change as people mature.  In other words, certain practices and activities are more catalytic to growth at each stage of the journey toward Christlikeness.

So to better discover where you are on your spiritual journey, read about the four stages of spiritual growth below. Keep in mind that no stage is better than another, any more than being 50 years old is better than being 15. Also, the pathways are fluid in nature; they are not linear. Feel free to flow to and from the four stages. What is important is that we are intentionally moving toward Christlikeness…together with other believers. Jesus is present and at work throughout our spiritual journey, so resist comparing yourself, favorably or unfavorably, to others.

Read Four Stages of Spiritual Growth


Four Stages of Spiritual Growth


Before you can take your next step, you need to know where you are, because the practices that spark new growth change as people mature. In other words, certain practices and activities are more catalytic to growth at each stage of the journey toward Christlikeness.

As you read about the four stages of spiritual growth below, keep in mind that no stage is better than another any more than being 50 years old is better than being 15. What is important is that we are moving toward Christlikeness. Jesus is present and at work throughout our spiritual journey, so resist comparing yourself – favorably or unfavorably – to others.


Exploring Jesus:
“I believe in God, but I am not sure about Jesus. My faith is not a significant part of my life.”


Key Question:
What do I believe about Jesus?
  • Includes both skeptics and the spiritually curious
  • Most do not serve within the church but may serve elsewhere
  • Generally view the Bible as irrelevant
  • Prays in times of need

Believer in Jesus:
“I believe in Jesus, and I’m working on what it means to get to know Him.”


Key Question:
How do I build a relationship with Jesus?
  • New or rededicated believers growing in their faith and beginning to engage personally in their spiritual growth
  • Learning that everyone is broken and in need of a Savior
  • Beginning to see connections between belief and actions 
  • Willing to participate in small groups and sometimes read the Bible or Christian books
  • Some serve in the church, participate in local or short-term mission service
  • Share the excitement of their new faith, or what God is doing in their lives

Follower of Jesus: “I feel really close to Christ and depend on Him daily for guidance.”


Key Question:
How do I follow Jesus in my everyday life?
  • Increasing devotion to Christ and ownership of their spiritual lives
  • The Bible and prayer are central to their lives 
  • Authentic before others and recognize the need for heart transformation
  • Proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel through their lives
  • Meet the needs of others by regularly serving in or outside the church as an expression their faith

Apprentice of Jesus: “My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life. It influences everything I do.”


Key Question:
What shall we do together, Jesus?
  • Love God more than anything and are fully surrendered to Jesus
  • Prayer and spiritual practices enable constant conversation with God
  • Overflow with God’s love regularly through evangelism, service and mentoring others
  • Stewardship of all one’s personal resources and God’s world
  • Work to bring justice and peace in all human relations and social structures
  • Self-initiate learning opportunities and spiritual friendships
  • Know their gifts and call and are using them

Questions for self-reflection and assessment: Take a minute and reflect on your life. Use the questions below to help you identify which stage or stages, best describe you.
  • Which opening statement(s) best describes your relationship with Jesus?
  • Which key question(s) resonates most with you currently?
  • Which stage(s) has the most characteristics that describe you well?
  • Are you between two stages, growing from one to another?
  • Can you recall your journey of growth through the stages?

 

Reprinted from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church





Tools to Help you Understand the Spiritual Pathways

Read the four documents linked below (click on the pictures below to open the documents):



Listen to or read our sermon series on Spiritual Formation (click on the picture below):




Join Faith's online community tool called Church Community Builder to keep you connected and up-to-date on current events.

 


After you have decided which pathway to start with, simply click on that link to get you started on your journey.

Exploring Christ Pathway

Believer of Jesus Pathway

Follower of Christ Pathway

Apprentice of Jesus Pathway