How Do I Know I am Growing as a Christian?

Rev. Dr. Kevin G. Harney

February, 2024

A runner knows they are getting faster when their coach hits the button on the stopwatch and their time today is better than it was three weeks ago. A student knows they are learning and improving when their grade goes from a C- to a B+. A restaurant owner is overjoyed when they look on Yelp and see an average 4.8-star review when it was down at 3.7 just six months ago. Sometimes knowing we are heading in the right direction is as easy as looking at a stopwatch, getting a report card, or clicking on an app. But how do we know if we are growing in our Christian faith? Is there some way we can measure if we are taking steps forward and becoming more like Jesus?

The answer to this question might be simpler than you think. The best way to determine if we are growing more mature in our faith is by identifying how Jesus lived (and taught) and then actively seeing to live the same way. Being a disciple is following the example of Jesus and becoming more like Him. At Organic Outreach International we focus on seven clear and biblical areas of growth that Jesus delights to see come alive in the daily experience of His followers. When we are taking meaningful steps forward in each of these areas, we can be confident that we are growing as Christians.  Ask yourself these seven questions:

  • Am I increasing in Bible Engagement? As the days and years pass, am I learning, loving, and living the Scriptures with increasing enthusiasm?  If you find yourself joyfully reading (or listening to) God’s Word and seeing the truth of the Bible shaping your life, you can be confident you are growing up in faith!
  • Am I going deeper into Passionate Prayer? Our Savior prayed often and his life was punctuated by prayer in the hard times and the painful seasons of life. He modeled prayer as a lifestyle.  When we are praying often, spontaneously, and from the depths of our hearts, we are maturing as God’s people. 
  • Is Wholehearted Worship marking my daily life? Our spiritual act of worship is about offering our whole selves to God every moment of each day.  We find ourselves singing passionately, praising with hearts on the fore, and surrendering all we are to the God who loves us.
  • Do I offer Humble Service to others in the name of Jesus? Just as our Lord washed feet and laid down His life freely for others, we are called to sacrificially serve. This can be in the home, at school or work, in the church, or around your community. Spiritual maturity leads us to serve others as Jesus serves us. 
  • Does God see my life marked by Joyful Generosity? A clear sign of spiritual growth is a generous spirit that moves us to live with open hearts and hands. All we have is a gift from our Maker and a sign of a growing Christian is how we share with others. On top of the lifestyle of generosity is an attitude of joy! 
  • Are you engaged in Consistent Community in our fragmented and isolated world? Jesus left the glory of heaven to walk side-by-side with us. When we grow in Christlikeness, we also commit to taking the risk of loving people and connecting closely with all kinds of people.
  • Do you engage in Organic Outreach as you interact with the people God has placed in your life?  Jesus came as the light of the world and our Savior calls us to shine His light everywhere we go. A clear sign of spiritual growth is when we are naturally sharing the good news of Jesus with others.

These seven markers of spiritual growth function like a recipe for maturity. All of them are needed. Each one makes us more like Jesus. When they all increase in us, we look, sound, and become more like our Lord.

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"What you will discover is that you will grow in love with Jesus, become more like Him, and actually begin shining His light in the world around you in ever-increasing organic ways. Enjoy the journey! "

 

These seven markers of spiritual growth function like a recipe for maturity. All of them are needed. Each one makes us more like Jesus. When they all increase in us, we look, sound, and become more like our Lord.

You might be wondering, which of these Jesus-taught indicators needs to increase in my life? You could be asking, are there steps I can take to grow up in full maturity as a Christian? If you hunger to grow in faith and desire to bring delight to the heart of the Father who loves seeing his children become more like His Son Jesus, consider taking fifteen to twenty minutes to do the Spiritual Growth Self-Assessment. 

Spiritual Growth Self-Assessment

After you use this simple tool, you will receive instant feedback and ideas for how you can design a customized spiritual growth plan for your life. If you want to dig into the biblical underpinnings of this spiritual growth journey, consider reading the book, Organic Disciples, Seven Ways to Grow Spiritually and Naturally Share Jesus

Organic Disciples, Seven Ways to Grow Spiritually and Naturally Share Jesus

My prayer is that you will take meaningful steps forward in all seven of these areas of spiritual maturity. You don’t need a stopwatch, a teacher’s report card, or a Yelp review. Just learn how Jesus lived and what He taught you to do. Then, take daily steps forward in each of these seven areas. What you will discover is that you will grow in love with Jesus, become more like Him, and begin shining His light in the world around you in ever-increasing organic ways. Enjoy the journey!

Rev. Dr. Kevin Harney is the President and co-founder of Organic Outreach International. Along with founding Organic Outreach International together, Kevin and Sherry have co-authored Organic Disciples, Seven Ways to Grow Spiritually and Naturally Share Jesus, the Organic Outreach Trilogy, and the upcoming book, Organic Prayer. Kevin is the lead pastor of Shoreline Church in Monterey, California.

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How's Your Spiritual
Growth Journey?

When it comes to determining spiritual maturity we look at indicators in terms of growth, not of achievement. This self-assessment will give you a snapshot of where you are with regard to seven key markers that are important to our spiritual growth.