Bishop Schnase is clear in his definition that faith development happens outside of weekly worship and that it happens in community. Faith development involves practices by which “we mature in faith; we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of God” (Cultivating Fruitfulness 43). Our spiritual growth never stops, it is never to become stagnant or regress.
The apostle Paul says that he himself continues to strive toward the goal, pressing on, straining forward (Philippians 3.12-14). We do not attain what Wesley called Entire Sanctification in this life, and yet that is the goal toward which we strive.
God intends for the community of faith to support and encourage one another in spiritual growth. This happens best in groups of 8-12 people where intimate relationships are formed. Jesus called twelve disciples around him to mentor, grow and develop. It was this approach that developed the disciples into the leaders we find in the book of Acts.
Questions for Reflection and Comment
Have you ever been part of a small group ministry or home group Bible study? Share that expereience.
How do you intentionally strive toward spiritual growth? Do you have a growth plan? Share it here, wether it is one you have followed for some time or whether you are newly developing one.