A program for spiritual growth

“Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:13-14
In this way the writer to the Hebrews expresses our need to progress in both godliness and knowledge in our discipleship. This program is intended to facilitate just that. As with all growth to adulthood, it will require effort both in learning new things and putting those things into practice. Yet this is just the wholehearted discipleship Jesus calls us to. We would encourage you then, to be ambitious for Christ in undertaking this program, committing yourself to reaching stage 5 out of a desire to honour Jesus as your Lord.

Having said that, we would also caution you to examine your motives in seeking to do so. There is no place for spiritual one-upmanship in the kingdom. God loves the new convert as much as he does the old-timer. Indeed, stage 5 does not guarantee a faithful heart. We would do well to remember that neither understanding of God’s word nor outward obedience necessarily please God. Rather, he looks for a longing to better know and submit to it through faith. As Isaiah puts it:
“This is the one that I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” Isaiah 66:2b
If you do commit yourself to this program, do please let me know via the site author link, so that I can pray for and encourage you.

Items in [brackets] obviously depend on circumstances.

Stage 1 Discipleship

□ I have completed an Enquiry Course such as Christianity Explored or Alpha

□ I have turned ‘back’ to God through Christ:

Believing that Jesus is God’s Son and King, who died and rose that I might enter his kingdom.

1. Accepting that I am a sinner deserving judgment and exclusion from that kingdom.

2. Committing myself to Jesus for forgiveness and so eternal life in his kingdom.

3. Knowing this means seeking to obey Jesus as my King now no matter what the cost.

□ I have read the following books:

1. “Christianity Explored” by Rico Tice and Barry Cooper

2. “Beginning the Christian life” by Richard Bewes

Stage 2 Discipleship

□ I have completed some form of Nurture or Discipleship Course

□ I have been baptised if not previously

□ I [and my children] make time to attend the same bible-centred church at least once on a Sunday

□ I regular give to this church’s finances

□ I regularly serve within this church in at least one area of ministry

□ I pray for and seek opportunities to share my faith

□ I spend time most days in prayer and bible reading

□ [I spend time most days praying and reading the bible with my spouse and children]

□ I have read the following books:

1. “Get into the bible” by John Richardson

2. “Know why you believe” by Paul Little

3. “The praying life” by Paul Miller

Stage 3 Discipleship

□ I make time to attend a mid-week church homegroup or teaching meeting every week

□ I make time to attend a mid-week church prayer meeting every week

□ I attend our church twice every Sunday whenever possible

□ I regularly invite people to evangelistic events

□ I am striving to be ever more godly and pleading with God to that end

□ [I seek to more deeply teach my children the faith and ensure they fulfil the above]

□ I have read the following books:

1. “Knowing God” by Jim Packer

2. “Know and tell the gospel” by John Chapman

3. “Discipleship” by David Watson

4. “Is God really in control” by Jerry Bridges

Stage 4 Discipleship

□ I have read the entire bible through at least once

□ I am prepared to regularly meet with a less mature Christian needing help to grow

□ I can recite sections A and B of the NavPress Topical Memory System (buy with cards included)

□ I have read the following books:

1. “A faith to live by” by Donald MacLeod

2. “God’s big picture” by Vaughan Roberts

3. “New Issues facing Christians today” by John Stott

4. “God in the dark” by Os Guinness

5. “Turning points: Decisive moments in the history of Christianity” by Mark Noll

Stage 5 Discipleship

□ I can recite sections C, D, and E of the NavPress Topical Memory System (buy with cards included)

□ I am using recommended basic commentaries to supplement my personal bible reading

□ I am studying on the distance learning Moore College Theology Course and/or continuing to read recommended Christian books

□ I am considering whether God might be calling me to some form of full-time gospel ministry or special Christian service