Spiritual Stages of Growth

By Erin Bird

New Series – Spiritual Stages
If you are a parent, you know the joy children can bring. As I type this, I am watching my youngest son play baseball with the W-SR Freshman team. While I enjoy the sport of baseball, my greater joy comes from watching my son do something he loves. The same can be said when I watch my 17-year-old lead his robotics team, or see artwork created by my 20-year-old, or eat a veggie grown by my garden-loving 24-year-old.

But what if my youngest son loved baseball, but didn’t grow? Rather than inhabit the body of a typical 14-year-old, imagine he was still the size of a 6-month-old or a two-year-old. He may love the sport, but he wouldn’t be able to participate. Rather than spend our time at the ball field, we would be spending time in the doctor’s office trying to figure out what is wrong with him. Everyone knows kids are supposed to grow.

I think the same could be said about our spiritual lives. As you read the Scripture, there is an underlying assumption that people who put their faith in Jesus will continue to grow, naturally advancing from one spiritual stage to another, until we are “mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)

In this week’s blog, I want to start a new series on these Spiritual Stages. Rather than simply share ideas of ways you can grow spiritually, I want to help you take time to figure out where you are in your spiritual journey with Jesus, and then decide what your next step might need to be to go deeper with Christ.

Through this series, we are going to look at four “stages” of growth. These four stages match the four river depths we find in Ezekiel 47 (Riverwood’s key passage behind our name and mission). Here’s what these four stages look like:

Ankle deep – Spiritual Infant
Knee deep – Spiritual Kid
Waist deep – Spiritual Young Adult
Submerged – Spiritual Parent

As we look at each stage (one per week), we will look at “markers” that will help you self-identify which stage you might be in, and then look at some steps you can take to help you move deeper and go to the next stage.

I echo the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:2: I want to see you be “mature in Christ.” So join me next week and the three weeks after as we consider how to help one another go deeper with Jesus and grow through the spiritual stages.