Notes from Perry Noble, talk by Rick Warren:

Eight Laws Of Spiritual Growth…

#1 - Spiritual Growth in Incarnational

  • Spiritual growth is Christ in you…being a Christian is not trying to be like Christ…it is Christ living through you!  (Galatians 2:20)
  • Spiritual growth is both mystical and practical.  I Corinthians 3:6…in spiritual growth we have a part and God has a part!  Philippians 2:12-13
  • We are to work out our salvation while God works in our salvation!

#2 - Spiritual Growth Is Intentional

  • You have to choose to grow!  We grow by making commitments.  You are as close to God as you choose to be…stop blaming others (husband, wife, friends…)
  • Get people to make commitment…not move to it.  Once people make the commitment then they grow through it.
  • Jesus first asked people to follow Him…that’s it!  It was three years later He asked people to take up their cross.  The level of commitment deepened with time.
  • We need to be a balanced church that challenges people to both “come and see” and “come and die!”  This is a process.
  • Everyone will NOT BE at the same level of commitment.
  • To the non-believer Jesus said “come and see,” to the believer Jesus said “go and tell!”
  • Once again…commitment MUST be asked for!!!  The heat must constantly be turned up!
  • Providing message notes helps people to remember the message–we forget around 95% of what we hear withing 72 hours.  The problem many times is not a matter of dedication but rather retention!
  • Why use outline and handouts?  #1, It increases attention.  #2, It increases retention.  #3, It increases participation.  #4, You can cover more material in less time.  #5, You can view the message for years to come.  #6, It is the basis for small group discussions.  #7, You can use multiple translations.  #8, Unbelievers don’t bring Bibles–they don’t have Bibles…and even if they did they would not know where to find the passage!

#3 - Spiritual Growth Is Incremental

  • it happens in steps, not overnight.  I Corinthians 3:18!  A baby has to learn to breathe, to eat, to walk, to talk…what is true physically is true spiritually.
  • You’ve got to know Christ before you can love Him.  You’ve got to love Him before you can serve Him.  You have to serve Him before you can share Him…

#4 - Spiritual Growth Is Personal

  • Reality is we grow according to how we are shaped.  II Corinthians 5:13

#5 - Spiritual Growth Is Habitual

  • We grow by developing good habits.
  • How do we develop habits?  #1 - Give homework at the end of a message.  (It’s not just about belief–it’s about behavior).  #2 - Challenge people to journal.  #3 - Provide a daily e-mail devotional/podcast.

#6 - Spiritual Growth Is Relational

  • A huge myth is that you can become spiritually mature on your own.  We can only grow in community.  American have gotten so into isolation that we don’t believe this.
  • If you are not in community then there are at least 58 commands in the Bible that you can’t do.
  • You learn to love by being around unlovely people.
  • Knowledge makes us feel important…but love IS what is important.  Hebrews 10:25
  • Three tools for relational growth - small groups, spiritual coaches, retreats!

#7 - Spiritual Growth Is Multi-Dimensional

  • Real maturity is so much more about knowing…it is about doing.
  • To be a Pharisee…you had to memorize the Torah!  And these are the people that Jesus went off on!  They KNEW but didn’t do!
  • We’ve got to be about public charity and personal purity!

#8 - Spiritual Growth Is Seasonal

  • There are times of growth and times of consolidation!  In the fall and winter it may not look like you are growing…but you are actually putting down roots!  (DANG!!!)
  • Just as sure as winter comes…so does spring and summer.  NOTHING is on all of the time.  No church can be in a continual state of growth.
  • Don’t worry about the speed & size of your church…worry about the growth of your people.
  • We grow in spurts!  Pastors can’t push their people all of the time
  • Growth seasons are done around Saddleback during campaigns.  “I love my church campaign, I want to grow campaign, etc.”
  • How are you moving people from “come and see” to “come and die?”