Through the years, I’ve seen how various churches approach producing spiritual growth. Every church leader has their own personality, preferences and way of fostering Christian maturity. What works at one church may not work at another. Yet, there are some basic elements that provide an environment for this growth. Here are eight ways you can inspire spiritual growth in your church.
1. Focus on Bible engagement, not just Bible knowledge.
While the knowledge of Bible doctrine is essential, it also needs to be experiential as well. Our ministry goal should not just be to inform minds, it should be to change hearts. I’ve met too many Christians that have a head full of doctrinal facts and a heart full of religious pride. If Bible teaching is not presented in a life changing way it becomes nothing more than religion. By focusing on personal engagement with the Bible, the Scriptures can be transformational.[Tweet “If Bible teaching is not presented in a life changing way it becomes nothing more than religion. “]
2. Create a clear path of discipleship.
Church leaders should develop a clear picture of Christian maturity. Have a good description of what a mature disciple looks like according to the Scripture. Then, develop a set of clear steps based on this description. Only then can a deliberate process be put in place. New believers cannot fully develop into mature disciples by simply attending regular services. Provide a clear path that’s designed to gets them moving toward a Christ-centered life.
3. Emphasize spiritual growth, not just physical involvement.
Getting more people physically involved in the work of a ministry isn’t the goal. The fact is you could hire someone to take part in physical activities. Mere involvement doesn’t require a spiritual connection or growth. Keep the focus on Christian maturity and spiritual growth within your church’s physical activities.
4. Help people reflect on Scripture to find purpose.
Regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey, nothing can replace reading the Scriptures. Nothing can take people to the next level in their walk with Christ better than the Bible. The best gift you can give folks is to teach them how to read, study and apply the Bible to their lives. It’s still the best way to encourage, equip and inspire them to a deeper worship and a greater level of service.
5. Develop a clear route to becoming a member.
Make your church membership matter by creating a deliberate pathway of entry. Membership in a healthy church provides an atmosphere for growth. New believers and those looking for a church home need to know how to join. Define your prerequisites and your process for becoming a member. Have a new members class or create a video. Outline the responsibilities of the church and what’s expected of members.
6. Challenge them to reach outside their comfort zone.
God has called us to reach the world with the gospel. Too many churches are singing “Standing On The Promises” while merely “Sitting On the Premises”. Ask God to make your church uncomfortable with the current state of affairs and want more. Real growth comes as a result of stretching ourselves beyond our known borders. Lead them to exercise faith. Challenge them to reach out of their comfort zone in obedience to Christ and His Word.
7. Expand your leadership team to stimulate growth.
Often churches aren’t effective in producing spiritual growth because the leadership is too centralized. This is the result of either leadership micromanagement or congregational complacency. Whatever the cause, this places too much responsibility on a few for the spiritual growth of many. It creates an unhealthy dependence upon existing leaders and burnout is soon to follow. Develop a leadership team. It is the most biblical and productive way to produce spiritual growth in the congregation.
8. Balance the focus between “being” and “doing”.
Our goal is to be more Christ-like and not just engaging in more activities. It’s easy to “hit the other ditch” and become so preoccupied with “being” good that you aren’t “doing” any good. There must be a balance. Our “doing” must flow out of “being”. Don’t obscure the goal of “being” with an endless list of activities. Keep a balanced focus between activity and maturity.