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?”