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9. The Spiritual Growth Happens By Chance?


Many churches think that spiritual growth is automatic once a person is born again. They operate with plans for the messy integration and have agreed a comprehensive strategy to bring the members to maturity. Leave everything to chance.

They believe that Christians will automatically grow to maturity if they attend the services. We just encourage people to take part in the services and everything will work out.

Obviously this is not true.

Spiritual growth does not happen just because you are saved, even if you attend the church regularly. Our churches are filled with people who have attended church all their life and still are as spiritual children.



Spiritual growth must be intentional
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Spiritual growth is not automatic with the passage of time. The author of Hebrews, in a sad way, says: "After so long, you should already be masters, but still need someone to teach the first lessons of the teachings of God." (Hebrews 5:12)
Millions of Christians were children without being spiritually mature.

The truth is that spiritual growth requires commitment. The person must want to grow, decide to grow and make an effort to grow.

Discipleship begins with a decision. Need not be a complex decision, but must be sincere.

When the disciples decided to follow Jesus Christ they did not understand all the implications of their decision. They simply expressed the desire to follow. Jesus took this simple but sincere decision, and built on it.

Philippians 2:12-13 says: "... Continue to work with respect and fear of God to complete your salvation. For God is always at work in you to obey his will ...."

Note that the text tells us "working (...) to complete the salvation ..." There is nothing you can add to the salvation that Jesus provided for you. Paul is talking to people already saved about spiritual growth in this passage.

What is important to note here is that God has a part in our growth, but we also have ours. We must make an intentional effort to grow.
Becoming like Jesus is the result of the commitments we

We become what we are committed - without commitment to grow, any growth that occurs is incidental, not intentional. Spiritual growth is very important to be left to the circumstances. It must be intentional and not incidental.

Spiritual growth that leads to maturity begins with the kind of commitment described in Romans 6:13: "... give yourselves completely to God - every part of your being - because you were released from death and want to be tools in God's hands, to be used for his good purposes. "




Spiritual growth is not a privacy issue
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Some of us hesitate to commit to an intentional plan for spiritual growth of members of our congregation, because they believe that this is a private and personal matter. Instead of interfering, we choose to allow each person to develop their own way and has its growth plan.

This is an aberration from the truth. The idolatry of individualism has influenced even in these issues to spiritual growth. Much of the teaching on spiritual formation is centered and focused on the person itself, without any reference to the relationship with other Christians. This is completely unbiblical and ignores much the New Testament.

The truth is that Christians need relationships to grow. Not grow in isolation. We have developed in the context of communion with others. Many times in the New Testament we find this basic truth:
Believers need relationships with others to grow!

Hebrews 10:24-25 says: "Think of each other to help everyone to have more love and do good. Not abandon, as some are doing, the habit of attending our meetings. Instead encourage one another ... "God wants us to grow as a family.

As I have said several times in this column, the most significant growth in  maturity that we saw at Saddleback was during the campaign 40 Days of Purpose.

In these 40 days, we baptized 671 new believers, added almost 1200 new members and increase the frequency by about 2000 people. These 40 days have transformed our church and mobilized our members in ways never before dreamed.

Related Articles:


• 13. God Loves Unit
• 12. Balance
• 11. Discipleship: Processed by Problems
• Rick Warren and His Contradictions ...
• 14 - Baptism: Identifying with the Family of God

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