When Jesus gave the apostles their mission at the end of his earthly ministry, he instructed them to go to all people, proclaim the gospel, baptize and teach them to walk in obedience with God. These men and women are commonly called disciples. Discipleship is the path we walk in honoring and living into a covenant relationship with God. Here at Christ Church, we define a disciple as “a follower of Jesus who earnestly seeks to become more like Him.”
As we live into our faith and our mission to “love God, love others, and live out the gospel life,” we will experience six different but interrelated dimensions of spiritual growth.
We love God by:
Responding to Jesus
When Jesus invites us to “follow me,” we are called to respond. Responding to Jesus is about practicing spiritual disciplines such as reading scripture, prayer, fasting, reflection, etc., and adopting personal patterns of worship throughout the week.
- Buy your own Bible or download the YouVersion Bible App.
- Visit our website for a Bible reading plan to get started.
- Pray using the ACTS model found here.
- Faith Essentials: Take Alpha, Life Together, Teleios, Your New Life and Ways to Pray when offered here.
When Jesus invites us to “take my yoke,” he is asking us to embrace his life. Embracing Jesus is about learning and truly owning essential beliefs of the faith as well as applying to our lives what we read in scripture.
- Read Basics of the Faith / Our Christian Beliefs.
- Read Questions of Life by Nicky Gumbel.
- Faith Essentials: Take Alpha when offered here.
- Practice applying one of the following to your life: Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 4:8, Ephesians 4:32, Psalm 136:1.
We love others by:
When Jesus invites us to “love one another,” he asks us to become present. Becoming present is about participating consistently in the life of the church through worship, faith groups, classes, programs, etc. It is also about becoming present in the world outside of the church as a representative of Christ.
- Invite someone to come to church with you next week.
- Start or join a Faith Group.
- Learn more about our Faith Essentials class experiences and sign up.
- Offer to pray for somebody you work with or see regularly in another context.
When Jesus invites us to “come and see,” he is setting an example for us to follow. Cultivating hospitality is about learning how to tell our stories of faith and to share the gospel with others, how to build relationships outside of the church, how to develop accountable relationships within the church, and how to come alongside others we don’t know well in their spiritual journey through patterns of personal invitation.
- Write a three minute version of your own story of new life to share with others. What was your life like before Jesus? How did Jesus come into your life? What is your life like now?
- Identify one area in your life where a brother or sister in the faith can hold you accountable. Touch base regularly and pray for one another.
- Introduce yourself to someone you don't know on Sunday.
- Pray that God would reveal to you an opportunity to share the love of Christ with someone outside of the church.
We live out the Gospel life by:
Growing in Generosity
When Jesus invites us to “lay up treasures in heaven,” we are called to give. Growing in generosity is about giving our time, talent and treasure; becoming effective stewards of our material possessions, our relationships, and the world.
- Progress in your giving with this plan: start by giving something every week, then give a set amount, then begin to give a percentage of your income, then return a full tithe of 10% to the Lord, and finally set aside money beyond your tithe to give to those in need.
- To be a better steward of your possessions, ask what it is you don't need that could bless someone else.
- To be a better steward of your relationships, read The Five Love Languages and put it into practice.
- To be a better steward of your world, consider participating in local efforts to feed the hungry or in a future Rise Against Hunger event.
When Jesus tells us that we will “do greater things,” it gives us a sense of purpose. Discovering purpose is about serving others in- and outside the church, discovering how our SHAPE (our spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experience) informs who God created us to be, and living into our God-given calling.
- Take the SHAPE Assessment.
- Read Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life.
- Write your own Life Purpose Statement.
- Learn about how you can serve at Christ Church here.
As you grow in your faith, understand that each of these areas, though interconnected, can grow at different rates. Each of us have a unique spiritual journey ahead of us. Just remember that all six dimensions are needed to be well rounded in the faith, to be the most effective disciple of Christ you can be.
To see where you are in this journey and to learn what your next step might be, click on this resource "Growing in Your Faith".