Spiritual Growth

Growth is expected of any living thing. Throughout life we grow. Its only when life is taken away that growth stops. And the same is true spiritually. If we are alive with Christ we should grow – it’s expected (Eph 4:15). So much so that the writer to the Hebrew Christians (Heb 5:12) was astounded that they were still spiritual ‘babies’ rather than pressing on to maturity.

What is Spiritual Growth?

Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus. Spiritual growth is perhaps best described in 2 Peter 1:3-8. It tells us that, in God’s power, we have “everything we need” to live lives of godliness. This is the goal of spiritual growth – to be ‘godly’, or to put it another way, ‘like God’ in our thinking, behaviour, responses, in every part. We are to “grow into Jesus who is the head” (Eph 4:15). It’s the work of His Spirit in us – it is the fruit of His Spirit rather than the fruit of our flesh life (Gal 5). But what we need comes “through our knowledge of Him” – knowing God better by hearing from Him, learning of Him in His Word, the Bible and letting His Spirit apply this to our lives.

Am I growing Spiritually?

Almost every child will recall the ‘height chart’ that their parents created for them on a wall of their home. It was a way to see your physical growth month on month or year on year, and to celebrate that growth. Although Spiritual Growth is even more important, strangely we don’t really check to see whether we are growing. Like those Hebrew believers, we can remain immature, mere ‘infants’ or ‘babies’. The Bible encourages us to examine ourselves, to look for Spiritual Growth. Having spiritual growth at the forefront of our daily walk with God is key to growing in Him.

To help you assess where you are, we have developed a questionnaire you can use. It starts with a brief Bible Study so that we start with a right understanding that we are to neither be proud of ‘scores’ nor defeated by apparent failure. This is simply a resource for you to use to get a sense of where God has been working and where we have been resisting His work. Use it if it is helpful.

Resources to help in Spiritual Growth

We have chosen some books and Bible Study guides that may be of help, and have grouped them according to the categories we used in the Spiritual Growth Self Evaluation. This list of resources will be regularly expanded, so keep coming back and looking.

Just click on a heading to reveal the books and resources under that heading…

Transformed – Becoming like God’s Son”, Derek Tidball

This set of study notes from Derek Tidball is a really course for discipleship groups or Small Groups. It challenges readers to grow more fully into the image of Christ, with huge emphasis on practical application and suggestions for deeper reflection.

“Progress – Lifelong growth for gospel workers”, Adrian Reynolds

In this book Adrian Reynolds warns against us being satisfied with gradual growth and instead calls leaders to make a deliberate effort to continue to grow and develop, using Paul’s words to Timothy (1 Tim 4) to encourage us to seek growth in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity and gifts.

“Knowledge of the Holy”, A.W. Tozer

What is the nature of God? How can we recapture a real sense of God’s majesty and truly live in the Spirit? This classic of Christian testimony and devotion, addresses these and other vital questions, showing us how we can rejuvenate our prayer life, meditate more reverently, understand God more deeply, and experience God’s presence in our daily lives.

“The Pursuit of God”, A.W. Tozer

Tozer calls for a slow, steady gaze upon God. He urges us to replace low thoughts of God with lofty ones, to quiet our lives so we can know God’s presence. He reminds us that life apart from God is really no life at all.

“You can change”, Tim Chester

Tim Chester says he wrote this book out of his own struggle to change. Long battle with particular issues set him searching the Bible as well as writings from the past. This book shares the amazing truths he discovered that gave him, and will give you, hope.

“How people change”, Paul David Tripp

What does it take for lasting change to take root in your life? If you’ve ever tried, failed, and wondered why, you need How People Change. This book explains the biblical pattern for change in a clear, practical way you can apply to the challenges of daily life.

“Overcoming Anxiety”, David Powlison

David Powlison helps you discover what your anxiety reveals about what is going on inside of you, and then shows you how to bring your anxious thoughts and worries to God, the only Person who can give you a life of peace. You will learn specific ways to replace your free–floating anxiety with trust in God and how to walk by faith through your day.

“Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners”, Michael R Emlet

Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners outlines a model of one-another ministry based on how God sees and loves his people. You are helped to use Scripture to find foundational categories for understanding and approaching one another, which serve as guideposts for wise care.