The process of growing as a follower of Jesus is just the same now as it was for the original twelve disciples. In particular, there were three key elements in the way Jesus helped them grow in their faith. In our own walks with God, and in those who we are in community with, we should make sure we have the same three elements in place.
The first was growth in knowledge. In their three years on the road with Jesus they heard him teach truth and developed their understanding of Scripture. They also learned spiritual disciplines from him such as how to pray. In what ways is your knowledge about God growing? What books are you reading? Why not make the most of the Summer and do a bit of Sermon bingeing from the podcast? Be sure to sign up for the CCM School of Theology when it launches in January.
The second way that Jesus helped his disciples to grow was personal input. Having gained new knowledge, the disciples were not left to figure it out on their own, but they had Jesus as a mentor who could take time to help them apply the truth into their own lives. Where are you getting your personal input? Are you plugged into a community group? Do you have close Christian friends or running partners who know you and are speaking into your life?
Thirdly, Jesus gave his disciples challenging opportunities to make a difference, even at a very early stage. It was only a few months after he first called them to follow him that Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs to preach the gospel and heal the sick. Part of the culture of our church is to ‘Have a Go’, and we are quick to make space for people to get involved and take responsibility. What things are you doing that are stretching you? What do you dream of doing that is just a little bit scary? What conversations could you have now to open up the door to new and exciting opportunities to make a difference?
Written by:Tom O'Toole