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Growth Guide

Growth Guide

Grow in Every Season

It’s helpful to understand where you are on your spiritual journey and what some next steps might be to continue growing. We’ve suggested five seasons, or milestones, for your personal journey. There may be some overlap between seasons from time to time, but we’ve included them to help identify your next steps and to suggest some obstacles that may be stumbling blocks along the path.

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A disciple is willing and able to purposefully invest in the lives of others. Imagine a multiplication movement springing forth from rich relationships that foster spiritual growth and health throughout our church and community.

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A Season of Seeking

Seeking describes those investigating the person of Jesus and the church. They are hungry for truth, searching for meaning and possibly looking for their place to belong. They may participate in spiritual gatherings or conversations, but limit their involvement in church. This person could be characterized as looking for answers.

  • Reading through the book of Mark in the Bible with someone who is a follower of Jesus
  • Meeting with a pastor or friend to discuss questions
  • Attending a weekly worship service or class to understand more
  • Asking God to reveal Himself
  • Not verbalizing questions to others
  • Hesitating to take a definitive next step, staying in limbo
  • Ignoring the possibility that pain may be a roadblock to faith
  • Not being aware of our own worldview--our default way we understand and view the world around us
  • Allowing other priorities to fill our schedules, causing disengagement
Read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

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A Season of First Steps

First Steps describes someone who has put their faith in Jesus as Savior. They recognize that their sin separates them from God and that forgiveness and new life is only possible through Jesus. They are actively seeking to leave the old ways of living and embracing a new way where Jesus is the leader of their life. They are becoming more aware of their daily need for Jesus. First Steps describes someone who is learning the basic beliefs of who God is and who we are as His people.

  • Meeting regularly with a spiritual mentor to learn some of the basics of following Jesus
  • Starting a reading plan through the book of Mark
  • Being baptized
  • Talking to God through prayer each day
  • Getting engaged in a small group to learn God’s Word and to be supported
  • Learning to share your spiritual story
  • Not connecting to other followers of Jesus for encouragement, support and learning
  • Not engaging in regular Bible reading and prayer
  • Not asking for help from other Christians to get rooted in faith
  • Allowing a lack of knowledge hinder participation in group settings

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A Season of Growing

Growing describes someone who has taken their first steps as a follower of Christ and is moving to the next stage in their spiritual journey. This person is becoming more comfortable with praying and reading scripture. They are growing in understanding the basic doctrines of faith and have a greater awareness of their personal sin. They also seek to be a godly influence to others. Engaging in worshipping and serving, they are experiencing spiritual growth. Their lives are being conformed to the fruit of the Holy Spirit and are becoming aware of their spiritual gifts.

  • Daily reminding ourselves of our identity in Christ
  • Deepening spiritual habits like Bible reading and prayer
  • Applying God’s truth to your life
  • Using natural abilities, learned skills and God-given spiritual gifts to serve others in the church and community
  • Developing an understanding of the whole story of the Bible
  • Giving God ownership of finances, schedules, and relationships
  • Not surrendering life to Jesus on a daily basis
  • Becoming entangled in sin
  • Lacking self-awareness
  • Not moving beyond a consumer mentality (it’s about me) to a contributor mentatility (it’s about God and others)
  • Not having a grace-based identity
  • Not processing doubts and struggles in a healthy manner
  • Hesitating to take faith beyond the walls of church
  • Living compartmentalized lives--not letting God have ownership of certain aspects of our lives
Read Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Elliot Grudem with another follower of Jesus

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A Season of being Christ-centered

Christ-centered describes someone who is daily surrendering their life to Jesus. They know God’s Word and are confident in God’s power and presence in their life. They are connecting with God daily through personal spiritual practices and consistently growing in godly character. They confess their sins to God and others and purposefully give God ownership of each area of their life. They are growing in a deeper love for God and others. This love cultivates a willingness to steward their time, talents, and treasures for God’s mission.

  • Learning to live according to the promises of God
  • Surrendering every part of life to God each day
  • Growing in trust of God’s acceptance, forgiveness and freedom in Jesus
  • Increasing generosity through giving of time, talents and treasure outside our comfort zone
  • Growing in awareness of how past experiences influence present life story, values, perspectives and behaviors
  • Refusing to respond well to trials
  • Not recognizing emotions and including them in the way we follow Jesus
  • Withholding generosity of time, talents, and treasures
  • Growing in knowledge of God but not in love and service for others

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A Season of Maturing and Multiplying

Maturing and Multiplying describes someone who is sought out for spiritual insight and wisdom. They have known God’s Word and applied it in their life over a significant period of time. Their ultimate aim is to steward their life for God’s glory. They are characterized by the great commandment and the great commission. They are extravagantly tithing, serving, and evangelizing. Their character is defined by humility, love, and grace. The fruit of the Spirit is evident to those around them. Their purpose is to equip others for ministry and multiplication.

  • Living and giving extravagantly to the mission of God
  • Understanding and engaging in making disciples of Jesus
  • Being a lifelong learner and recognizing that none of us will never “arrive”
  • Pursuing the actions and attitude of a servant-leader
  • Mentoring others who share similar passions and spiritual gifting
  • Helping others understand their stories and growth opportunities
  • Seeking to minister out of our unique story, strengths and passions
  • Reverting to being a consumer, rather than using gifts and passions to serve others
  • Making our name great through ministry instead of making His name great
  • Thinking that going deeper means more knowledge only
  • Allowing spiritual pride to take root
  • Becoming closed to ways other people grow
  • Refusing to share struggles, along with successes
  • Allowing fear of others’ approval determine our willingness to live on mission


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