Mark Alan Williams
3 Reasons You Need A Strategy For Spiritual Growth
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen.
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You and I need a strategy for spiritual growth. But some Christians act like planning, strategizing and systems are ungodly. They seem to think that if we’re led by the Spirit, there will be no plan or system. We’ll just “flow in the Spirit” without any thought to where we’re going and how we’ll get there.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Indeed, the Bible says the Spirit is like a wind, and we don’t know where it’s going:
“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8 NIV)
What’s misunderstood is that Jesus was not saying we shouldn’t have strategies and plans. He was saying that we should allow planning to be Spirit-directed. Then we must also allow the Spirit to alter our plans when He desires.
But since many don’t plan, what often seems to happen is people don’t mature in their faith. This is a problem needing to be overcome and described by another depiction of wind: “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14 NIV)
Here are 3 reasons you and I need a strategy for spiritual growth:
1. Strategies answer the question: what’s next?
In most of life, we have strategies that have been clearly laid out to tell us what to do next in order to achieve our aims:
In school, we know what is next through the tests, grades, assignments, deadlines, and graduations.
At work, we have what’s next clearly designed for us.
In athletics, we have coaches to give us guidance for the steps to take for a winning strategy.
Likewise, we need to know what is next for spiritual growth. If not, we’ll flounder.
Carolyn’s and my good friend Lisa Sales was led to Christ by a fellow student in college she had never met. He was given an assignment to share The Four Spiritual Laws booklet with a student before the next day.
So late in the evening, in order to complete the next step in the strategy, he asked Lisa if he could share the 4 Laws with her. When she learned that God loved her, tears flowed. She prayed to receive Christ and today is a partner, along with her husband Carlos, in a ministry called Reaching the Hungry.
A wonderful conversion happened because Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) had a strategy for “what’s next!”
2. Strategies give us motivation.
As illustrated in the story of Lisa, strategies for spiritual growth also keep us motivated. If we don’t know what’s next, we can easily lose motivation to make progress.
When a person becomes a Christian, often they’re simply told something like this:
Go to church
Read your Bible
These are great spiritual disciplines, and certainly God’s will for every believer. But some kind of strategy is needed to go with them, or else there is little motivation. When we have a Bible reading strategy, a prayer plan, a giving strategy and a plan to discover and use our spiritual gifts, we have increased motivation.
Earlier in my Christian life, I remember the thought of praying for 5 or 10 minutes seemed daunting. What would I say? What was I supposed to do? I tried, but would quickly run out of things to say.
But after receiving some training in prayer, I now have no problem praying for more extended times, oftentimes for hours. I wrote about this process in my free eBook 10 Prayers to Unlock Heaven on Earth.
You can get it free when you subscribe to my email updates HERE.
3. Strategies are easily reproducible.
McDonald’s hamburgers are known around the world. Why? Because Ray Kroc saw the success of the McDonald brothers’ strategies and that they could be multiplied in many other locations with an ever-greater effect and financial profit.
The McDonald brothers (Richard and Maurice) founded McDonald’s, but later sold their name and portion of the business to Kroc who built the McDonald’s empire. It could have been the McDonald brothers who developed the business. But apparently they didn’t have the vision to reproduce in multiple locations resulting in a faulous return.
Whether you like McDonald’s hamburgers or not isn’t the point. The point is that strategies are reproducible and if utilized, can result in remarkable returns for the Kingdom.
What’s needed in the Christian community is to discover strategies for disciple-making and then begin to reproduce them in making disciples of others.
Jesus’ commanded: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21 KJV) Jesus reproduced Himself in the Disciples and then expected them to reproduce in others through the strategies He had used.
Knowing the importance of having a strategy for spiritual growth is why we’re creating Discipleship Journeys with Jesus. Please go to our website HERE to learn about us. Subscribe to our updates to keep in touch with developments of our materials (strategies) for spiritual growth by clicking HERE.
What do you think? Are these good reasons to have a strategy for spiritual growth? Are there other reasons why you need a strategy for spiritual growth?
Your thoughts are welcome! Please leave your comment below.
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Additional resources about related subjects on this site:
Podcast: What’s the value of 1 to 1 discipleship?
Podcast: Is it necessary to pray to be filled with the Spirit?
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