Spiritual growth in the Church is based on the belief that if we focus on building people, God will build the church. Through a study of how Jesus helped people grow spiritually, Rick Warren developed these laws for spiritual growth in the church.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS INTENTIONAL.
Spiritual growth in the church is not accidental. The church must intend to grow; the church must make a choice to grow. This means that the church grow by spiritual commitments. People in churches are at one of six levels of commitment: community, crowd, congregation, committed, core, or commissioned.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS INCREMENTAL.
We know it’s true in physical growth—why not in spiritual? We know that children grow through developmental stages: First they learn to breathe, then they learn to eat. Then they learn to walk. Then they learn to talk. No child has ever taken those steps out of order. They are developmental steps.
The same is true in spiritual life in the church. The order of the church is to help people grow closer and closer to Christ: knowing Christ, then loving Christ, then growing in Christ, then serving Christ, then sharing Christ. Those are the systematic steps to spiritual growth in the church.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS PERSONAL.
The church is expected to disciple everybody . To be a disciple is to be a soul winner for Christ—that’s the literal meaning of the word “disciple.” Because we are called christians, implies we are all disciples of Christ (church).
One of the major tools that should be use to help the church grow is by embarking on steady spiritual growth campaign. In these campaigns, the whole church focuses together on a specific area of church spiritual growth. Some of the campaigns include 40 Days of Purpose, 40 Days in the Word, 40 Days of Love, etc. In these campaigns, the entire church will study the same thing for six weeks. They will utilize all the different styles of learning so that the church can grow. One of those ways is going to help them learn it to the best.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS PRACTICAL.
God gives us practical ways to participate in the growth that he is building. One of the goals of the church is to help people grow by developing good spiritual habits. They’re called spiritual disciplines or devotional practices, but they’re really just habits.
For instance, we encourage the habit of spending time with God every day. Prayer is also a spiritual habit. Bible study is a spiritual habit. Tithing and attending a small group are spiritual habits. In the end, we will become whatever we habitually do. To try to be a disciple of Jesus without developing disciple habits is simply impossible.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS RELATIONAL.
We only grow in church with others. This is one of the most misunderstood facts of growth among Christians. Christians believe that the church can grow spiritually through the Holy spirit. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another” (NLT).
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE CHURCH IS MULTI-DIMENSIONAL
We have learned it takes all five purposes to grow. The church grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through mission.
If you go to a gym and get a trainer, they’re going to work on the areas in which you are weak. Do you have a weak shoulder? They’ll work on that shoulder. You have weak knees? Let’s work on your knees. Spiritual growth is like physical therapy: God wants to strengthen us in all of his purposes.
Of course, this means that you cannot do the job alone as a church leader. We’re not meant to do it alone! In Ephesians 4:12, we’re told to “equip the saints for works of service.” If I were starting a church again today, I’d get a volunteer leader to help me with each of these five purposes so that he could grow as he helped the church to grow.
How to grow your faith in God
The final truth is that growth in the church is not about what the church can accomplish; rather, it’s about the person of Jesus Christ living inside the church . Galatians 2:20 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NLT).
The goal of the church should be to live like Jesus. But it’s not the church trying to be like Jesus; it’s trusting Jesus to live inside the church. The secret of a spiritual church is not imitation but incarnation—letting Christ live through you. No church can live like Jesus better than Jesus!
None of these principles for growth can happen on our own power. It’s God who works in the church because of the cross. The church need to remember that for them to grow and also for the growth of the church. This frees the church from the frustration of what they can’t seem to get done and releases them from the even more dangerous temptation to try to do it on there own power. We get to be fellow builders. Under Jesus’ leadership and by following biblical principles for spiritual growth, God will build his church!