25th January 2018
On Sunday we begin a new teaching series based out of the book of Philippians, called Disciple. Over the next eight weeks, we are encouraging everyone to do three things: come on Sundays, follow the daily Bible notes and join a group, so we can go deeper together.
The Great Commission calls us to make disciples, not just new believers. Different churches have different methods to encourage spiritual growth and discipleship, and at King’s we have found Andy Stanley’s approach to be very helpful – some of you may have come across his teaching, ‘Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith’, which suggests there are five areas God can use to help us develop spiritually. These are:
1. Practical Teaching
2. Providential Relationships
3. Private Disciplines
4. Personal Ministry
5. Pivotal Circumstances
I have observed in my own life how God has used a combination of these five things to grow me as a disciple. So yes, my personal prayer and Bible study have been important, but so have some of the relationships God has brought into my life – I can think of many people whose example and wisdom have been hugely helpful to me. And yes, the practical teaching I have heard over the years has deepened my knowledge and understanding, but God has also taught me a great deal through different events in my life – both joyful and challenging ones – and also through serving, as a pastor and in other roles. I have always been nervous of too formulaic an approach to discipleship (though it worked well for the Methodists!) and prefer a more flexible approach which reflects the uniqueness of each person. Spiritual growth is multi-faceted, and God has many ways of helping us on our journey of becoming more like Jesus.
In the end, spiritual growth is our own responsibility, which is why I encourage you to read the daily Bible notes, get in a group to share, encourage and learn from one another, and to be here on Sundays to allow the word of God to shape your lives.
Andrew Wilson will be opening the series on Sunday, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.