7.14.2010

Grading Ourselves as Christ-Followers

C. Peter Wagner, brilliant teacher and leader in the arena of Christian discipleship compiled a survey of measurable factors in Christian growth.  I recently came across some of my notes from my college days and took some time to reflect on these things for myself.  I thought you might like to spend some time meditating on them and giving yourself a spiritual check-up.

Wagner assembled the data from a nation-wide interview process in which he discovered these similarities in Christ-followers who claimed to experience a stronger faith and a closer connection to Christ.  Wagner asserts that these factors both contribute to and result from that experience.  

1. Bible knowledge. Growing Christians are increasing in their grasp of the teachings of the Bible. They can integrate this with a theological system that enables them to apply the Bible's teachings to their life situation.

2. Personal devotions. Growing Christians spend time daily in prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and other personal spiritual exercises.

3. Worship. Growing Christians regularly participate in the worship services scheduled by the church.

4. Witnessing. Growing Christians regularly attempt to share their faith in Jesus Christ with unbelievers.

5. Lay ministry. Growing Christians are involved in such ministries as teaching and discipling. In some cases this happens through consciously discovering, developing, and using their spiritual gifts.

6. Missions. They actively supports missions, participating in and financing home and foreign missionaries.

7. Giving. Growing Christians give an appropriate portion of their income to the local church and/or to other Christian causes.

8. Fellowship. Growing Christians are growing in their personal relationships with each other through regular participation in church fellowship groups of one kind or another.

9. Distinctive life-style. Growing Christians generally manifest their faith in Christ by living a life-style clearly and noticeable distinct from that of non-Christians in the same community.

10. Attitude toward religion. Growing Christians regard their involvement in the church primarily as a service to God rather than a means to fulfill personal needs.

11. Social service. Growing Christians are serving others outside the congregation. This includes direct personal involvement with the poor and needy, or in programs designed to help the needy.

12. Social justice. Either through the congregation as a whole or through specialized Christian agencies, growing Christians are striving to make changes in sociopolitical structures that will contribute to a more moral and just society.

I give myself a C.  I have been too focussed on my own struggles to flourish in my Christian growth for some time now.  I am experiencing healing and restoration over time and in increasing volume.  As God gives me strength, I hope to improve my social service, fellowship, social justice and my distinctive lifestyle.  How about you.  Which of these indicators will you focus on God's calling and empowerment in order to see growth?

1 comments:

Scott July 14, 2010 at 2:41 PM  

I usually don't like lists that offer a way to gauge our growth in Christ. I think that the fruit of the spirit is the only list that can really give adequate evidence of our growth. Nonetheless, this actually does seem like a fairly well put together list. While I would never want to use it for myself or others as a checklist of practices which will necessarily draw us to Jesus, it does seem to be a good tool to ask honest questions of ourselves. Thanks for posting this Bruce!

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