God’s Family Helps You Grow As a Disciple
by Rick Warren
“Christ’s Body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole Body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT, second edition).
God doesn’t want you to remain a spiritual baby. He says, “Grow up! I don’t want you to be a spiritual infant all your life. I want you to become like Christ. I want you to grow.”
But here’s the catch: You can’t do it on your own. Babies don’t just grow up on their own. They need a family of some kind. And you need a spiritual family, just like you needed someone to help you grow up when you were young physically.
The Bible says, “Christ’s Body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole Body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT, second edition).
My job as a pastor is to make sure the people in my church grow. It’s the job of all of our pastors, leaders, Bible study teachers, and small group leaders. In fact, the Bible says this about these people: “Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ until we become mature and measure up to Christ who is the standard” (Ephesians 4:12-13 GW). At Saddleback Church, we are always thinking about this. “How can we help them grow, Lord?”
The Bible has a word for this growth. It’s called discipleship. Discipleship is the process of growth from a spiritual baby to a spiritual adult. It means you’re maturing in your faith. You’re getting stronger. You’re developing some muscle.
So how can you grow as a disciple?
The Bible tells us in Acts 2:41-42 and 46 how they grew in the first church: “Those who believed … were baptized and added to the church that day — about 3,000 in all. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. They worshipped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness” (NLT, second edition/TLB).
First, you believe. Then, you get baptized. And, it’s important that you choose a church family and participate in large group worship and small group fellowship. Learn from your leaders in the church. Learn from your peers. Commit to growing spiritually as a disciple and a member of the Body of Christ.
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Talk It Over
What keeps you from getting connected to a church family?
How have you grown as a disciple when you’ve been connected to the Body of Christ?
Why do you think God wants other people to play a role in your spiritual growth?