The start of the Christian life is clearly described by Jesus in John’s gospel chapter 3:1-7. A person starts their Christian life when they are born again, as a child of God. This is a spiritual event and experience that if it hasn’t happened, then a person is not a Christian, no matter how much church involvement they have.
There is however a corresponding spiritual truth, not an event but a process, that often gets overlooked. This is that the new Christian is a spiritual baby, and God’s expectation is that the baby will grow in spiritual maturity and usefulness in building His kingdom. Tragically, this doesn’t always happen and some babies are stunted, remaining on spiritual milk like the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1,2- also see Hebrews 5) who the apostle Paul describes as ‘mere infants in Christ’. It is not God’s plan but it happens that some people have been in the church for decades but are still spiritual babies. That is why it is a mistake to judge a person’s spiritual maturity by the length of time attending services.
God requires Christians to grow in spiritual maturity and that is why he provides teaching ministries in His church as we read in Ephesians 4:11-13. Teaching ministries are provided by God’s grace to prepare God’s people “for works of service so that the body of Christ (congregation) may be built up……and become mature” (v 13).
We provide teaching in a range of ways at CrossRoads; of course at our weekly meetings and groups but also in other ways including the ‘Growth Tracks’ series of courses and seminars. Growth Tracks is about helping members to grow in spiritual maturity, indeed to ‘grow up’, and be equipped for service. If we are serious (and it is actually a matter of obedience) about growing as God expects then all of us should do each of the four tracks, preferably, but not necessarily in order.
The Growth Tracks series is designed to help people who want to know (indeed need to know) more about God, to grow in their relationship with God, and be obedient to Him by serving Him more effectively.
- Track 1: Christian Basics
The first Track, Christian Basics, deals with the basics of the Christian faith and assumes no previous knowledge and involves sessions over a four (4) week period. It is designed both for those who want to explore Christianity in an informal way, and for long-time Christians who want to clarify their understanding.
- Track 2: CrossRoads Unpacked
The second Track in the series, CrossRoads Unpacked, is a seminar designed to help us understand just what the true church is; who is actually a member; exactly what sort of church CrossRoads is, and what God expects from members.
- Track 3: How Do I Fit?
The third Track in the series, How Do I Fit? is a three week course that looks at the area of Spiritual gifts; how we can discern the gifts God has given us; and then make an assessment of the ministry area(s) that may be most appropriate for us to serve in CrossRoads Vision.
- Track 4: Sharing My Faith
This fourth Track, Sharing My Faith provides members of the church with a “Toolbox” of skills which will enable them to share their faith, in a simple and clear way, with the network of people they come into contact with in their daily lives. This will also include some sessions on how to be able to respond to the “Difficult Questions” that their friends and acquaintances might ask or the objections to Christianity they may make.
All of the ‘Tracks’ are run in an informal way in which members may participate at the level they feel most comfortable.
Growth Tracks 4 is currently running and it is expected that Tracks 1 and 2 will run again before the end of the year. Watch this space!
Spiritual growth, from spiritual babies, is both God’s desire for, and expectation of, every member of the body of Christ, so that we may be transformed (Romans 12:2) into the people God wants, performing the ministry God wants. Let us make sure we do not let God down in this regard, and avail ourselves of the growth opportunities the ‘Growth Tracks’ series provides.