What does spiritual growth look like?

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Evangelism, Leadership, Me and God, Me and people, The Bible, The Church

We may all agree more of less in that explaining The Gospel in 4 simple steps is seemingly a simple task: 1) We were all born in sin and deserve death; 2) God made himself a man so that, on our behalf, He could pay our sentence; 3) Everyone and anyone who accepts the previous statements and, by faith, accepts that Jesus’ death paid for his or her sins (past, present and future); and repent and turns his/her life’s control to Jesus, is saved from that eternal condemnation and gets instead, life in abundance here and eternally. He or she is spiritually born [or born again] and made a son or daughter of God and 4) In light of the amazing forgiveness we have received, we, as a result –in thanksgiving, begin a life of ‘transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit and a daily relationship with Christ through praying, reading the Bible and telling others about this gift we have received and the death we’ve been saved from.

So far so good….  And what then?

What happens after that? What are the evidences or results of ones new birth?  What does being saved look like in a regular human being? What are the evidences of sound growth in a Christian?

Perhaps one starts growing ‘in the knowledge’ of God and the Scriptures. One could argue that an evidence of this is that the person learns facts and truths about the Bible, memorizes Bible verses and can even come to a point of being able to defend Christianity in front of any well educated atheist, Muslim or Mormon teacher. However, perhaps a more accurate evidence of ‘spiritual growth’ may be observed in that ‘growth in scriptural knowledge’ evidenced by the person’s gradual change from ‘being as it used to be’ to ‘being more like Jesus’. More kind, loving, forgiving, joyful etc. Perhaps one becomes slowly but surely a better husband, a better wife, a better employee, a better citizen etc. Another factor that may demonstrate spiritual growth –as in any other living being, may be that of reproduction; any healthy person grows into maturity and reproduces.

Now, what are the evidences of a sound growing church?

A group of people self-proclaimed Christians gathers together on Sunday morning at a local building to sing songs and listen to a smart guy talk for 40 minutes; there is collection of offerings shaking of hands, coffee and then move on with life. How do we know there is true good growth in a local church?

Is it by the size and dollar value of their offerings? or how that money is spent? The size of their building? or how it is used? How well they dress? How professional the musical band plays? How many new songs they know? How it ‘feels’ when they are playing? How loud they pray? How long the sermon is? How ‘deep’ and theologically complex the sermon sound? What preaching method is used? What technology is utilized? How they collect the offering?

Do we have an idea about the healthy growth of a church by the number of new visitors? or the faithfulness and steadfastness of those who stay? Do we know whether or not a local church is growing by the number of people who have memorized Bible verses? or by how many practice them? By the number of people involved in small groups? or by the number of people who lead small groups? By the number of missionaries they send or support? By the number of visitors they attract? By the number of new false seekers they reject? By the number of charities they support financially? By the types of friends and partnering churches/denominations they do work with? By the books they endorse?

What are the evidences of a sound growing church?

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Comments
  1. Angela says:

    Some people say that if a church grows in numbers, it is doing the WRONG thing (ie: watering down the message).

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  6. […] am I writing about this? For the last few months, I’ve been thinking about “What are the evidences of a sound growing church?” We may agree that if I have a church in a fancy neighborhood –or have big pocket donors, […]

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