4 Ways to Grow

This past Sunday, we kicked off a two-week series called “Acorn Theology.” (Click here to listen to Week 1). In the first message, I talked about some ways to get into “good soil”, and I’d like to take a moment here to expand upon the message.

Here are four different ways you can grow spiritually:

1) The Bible

I know I seem to say it almost every Sunday, but if you aren’t reading the Scriptures, today is a great day to start! Here are a few resources that might help you develop this critical spiritual discipline:

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]YouVersion is a great website for reading the Bible. (They have a fantastic app, too!) You can choose a reading plan, share notes, and keep track of your progress.[/list_item]
[list_item]I really enjoy using the NET Bible, and seem to regularly return to their Lumina Bible study environment while working on messages for our Worship Gatherings.[/list_item]
[list_item]And of course, we always have copies of the English Standard Version (which I most often teach from) and the New Living Translation (which is a very readable version) on the Grow table each Sunday. If you don’t have a Bible, please take one of these![/list_item]
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2) Your Unique Pathway

Because God is so creative, He has made every person unique. This leads me to believe that there isn’t just a “one-size-fits-all” approach to spiritual growth. Here are some various ways you might be encouraged to grow spiritually:

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Reading books by great authors like C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller, Mark Batterson, Craig Groeschel, and many others.[/list_item]
[list_item]Listening to worship music (Hillsong United, Matt Redman, All Sons & Daughters, and Elevation Worship are just a small sample of worship artists I enjoy throughout the week).[/list_item]
[list_item]Being out in nature.[/list_item]
[list_item]Engaging in other spiritual disciplines like fasting, journaling, or concentrated prayer.[/list_item]
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If you want to check out a resource to learn more about ways to connect with God, I recommend Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas.  Don’t want to buy the book? Then try this free online “quiz.”

3) Podcasts

Listening to podcasts should probably go in the previous category, but I want to make special mention of it. Listening to sermons and podcasts aimed to help you grow spiritually is a great way to spend your time during your commute, while out for a jog, or while mowing the lawn.

Some of the podcasts I’ve been enjoying recently:

[list type=unordered extra=]
[list_item]Jeff Vanderstelt[/list_item]
[list_item]Tim Keller[/list_item]
[list_item]Andy Stanley[/list_item]
[list_item]Matt Chandler[/list_item]
[/list]

You can also listen to an audio Bible through the YouVersion Bible app!

4) Conversations

A fantastic way to grow is through conversations with people. A conversation with someone who doesn’t believe exactly like you will challenge you to figure out exactly what you DO believe. What does the Bible actually say?

At the same time, conversations with people who are pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly will challenge and inspire you to do the same. And a GREAT place to have those conversations is a Growth Group.

We are relaunching Growth Groups this coming week. If you haven’t signed up yet for a group, then [bspam mail=”[email protected]”]send me an email right now[/bspam] as we are putting together groups right now.

And if we can’t get you in a group at a time that works for you, then let me encourage you to just start one! Find someone at work who is willing to take their lunch hour once a week to meet with you to read and study the Bible. Call up a friend who might attend another church and get together for breakfast or coffee once a week. Find a way to have those conversations that will challenge you and help you grow spiritually.

I hope one of these four ways helps you grow in your faith. And be sure to let me know what you find helpful!

 

More Than One Way to Grow Spiritually

More than One Way to Grow

At Riverwood, we want to help you be like Jesus. And our “pathway” to do just that is to help you “Gather, Grow, Give, and Grow.”

One of our avenues for spiritual growth is Growth Groups. But there are far more ways to grow spiritually than just being part of a Growth Group!

Here are some ideas, links, and resources to help you grow spiritually:

Bible

At a recent Sunday Worship Gathering, we handed out the New in 90 Bible Reading bookmarks. (A great way to read the entire New Testament in only 3 months!) But here are a couple of other “Bible” ideas to get you growing:

  • If you have a smartphone, download the YouVersion app (they also have a website for online use). You can choose a reading plan, share notes and questions with others, and keep track of your progress.
  • I sometimes use Lumina, the NET Bible’s online cache of Bible tools. You can compare translations, read the NET Bible’s helpful notes, and pretend you know Greek! 😉
  • The main thing is to read the Bible regularly (even daily!) and begin studying it for yourself.
Books
Here are a few of the books I’ve read that have helped me grow in my faith (links take you to Amazon)
Podcasts
Perhaps you aren’t a reader. Then why not listen? You can get most any book in audio form these days, as well as get the Bible in audio form (iTunes has several different versions.)

I personally listen to podcasted sermons – here are some of my favorites:

  • Andy Stanley (Northpoint Church in Atlanta, GA)
  • Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NY)
  • Matt Chandler (The Village Church in TX)
Music
Another great way to connect with God is through music. Some of my favorite “worship artists” are:
  • Matt Redman
  • The Brilliance
  • Loud Harp
  • All Sons & Daughters
  • Hillsong United
  • Jesus Culture
  • Robbie Seay Band (their new “Psalms” projects are great!)
  • And many more!
Sundays

While Sunday mornings are about gathering for worship, there is a grow-component to our Gatherings. Hopefully you are growing through the teaching, song lyrics, prayer times, communion, and even the conversations before and after. And if you miss a Sunday, you can catch the message online.

I hope something from this list helps you grow in your faith. Pick one of the resources and try it out for a week or two. Again, the goal is to grow closer to Jesus and stay centered on him. So find what works for you and change it up when you need to!

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