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Where Should I Grow?

Welcome! This brief guide is designed to help with your reflection time. Our hope is that it helps you engage with God about your faith journey. Which area of your life needs attention right now? Following God’s direction will help you choose one simple step to take to grow to be more like Jesus in that area.

Move Through These Steps

Before You Begin

You’ll need at least 15 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time, paper and pen, and this guide. Try to pick a time when you will be able to be as close to silence as possible – i.e., not at a café with background noise or music playing. Turn your phone to airplane mode. If you’re on a schedule, set a timer for 15 minutes so you don’t need to keep looking at the time.

  • Start with prayer.

    Pray this prayer, or something like it: “God, thank you for this time to spend with you. Thank you for your love for me. Help me to quiet my mind and heart now as I seek you. I know you want me to grow in my relationship with you, and I ask for your guidance and help in that. Speak to me, and help me to be honest with you and with myself. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

  • Answer these questions:

    (don’t rush – take the time you need to think, and then write out your responses)

    • Do you feel like Jesus is the focus of your life right now? If not, what is the focus of your life?
    • Think of a time you felt close to God. What was going on, and what was your response? (For example, was there a crisis that led you to pray more?)
    • What would you like your relationship with God to look like?
  • Read through Scripture passages.

    Read through the Scripture passages and descriptions below for Head, Heart, Hands and Feet. Again, take your time.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Matthew 27:37

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

We have a tremendous gift in the Bible – it tells us all about God’s incredible love for people, across many centuries. It gives us the words and actions of Jesus, and is a crucial way for us to get to know the character and heart of God. At the same time, it is a very old book that can be challenging and confusing to read, and we shouldn’t be embarrassed if we don’t know how to read it! This is something we need to learn how to do – and once we do, it can become our means of sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning from him, just like Mary.

Things you might say or think if you need growth in this area:

  • I’ve tried reading the Bible, but I don’t get very much from it.
  • I’ve never participated in a study on a book of the Bible.
  • I can’t really describe what God is like or what God values.
  • I have questions about faith and no one to ask about them.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 36:26

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39

There are many things that can get in the way of loving God, loving our neighbors, and loving ourselves.  We may need to experience some healing from old wounds first in order for us to be able to have the soft, open hearts that God wants us to have. We aren’t capable of simply willing ourselves to love like God does – this is only possible as we grow and are transformed by God, and open ourselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is an area that all of us can always grow in. There’s no such thing as a follower of Jesus whose heart is too big. But our hearts are always at risk of getting too small or too hardened if we shift our focus off of Jesus and on to other things.

Things you might say or think if you need growth in this area:

  • I struggle to feel love for God.
  • I have a hard time feeling love or compassion for people who are different from me.
  • My faith is just one piece of my life – no more or less important than my job, family, or friends.
  • I have some wounds from my past that still feel fresh and need healing.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10 

“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
John 13:12-15

We look to Jesus as the model for how we should live, and Jesus showed us a type of leadership that involved serving others – even to the point of kneeling down and washing the feet of his disciples. In our era of churches with big buildings and lots of programs, we might get the idea that our church doesn’t really need us, but that’s far from true. Most of our ministries, and even Sunday morning services, couldn’t happen without volunteers! We have each been gifted with some talent or attribute that God gave us for the life of the church. Do you know what yours is? If you do, do you know how it could be used in the church?

Things you might say or think if you need growth in this area:

  • I have a hard time being generous with my money.
  • I really don’t have time to volunteer for anything.
  • I don’t think I have much to offer when it comes to serving.
  • Serving is something for super Christians – that’s not me.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28:19-20

 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.  No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:14-16

It can be tempting to get stuck inside our church, and stuck inside our own faith journey. But if our focus is only ever on our own relationship with Jesus and our own growth, we are really missing the point! Our salvation and our personal transformation is not just for our sake – it is for the sake of the world and all of humanity. God loves every person on earth, and longs for them to know it. If we keep the light of Christ under a basket, we’re keeping people from experiencing something of the love of God! Is your life good news to people in your home? Is it good news to people outside of your church?

Things you might say or think if you need growth in this area:

  • I don’t know anyone who isn’t a Christian.
  • I’m concerned about the suffering in the world, but I don’t really know where to start.
  • Evangelism scares me.
  • Topics of faith rarely or never come up with those I’m closest to.
  • Answer these last questions, as honestly as possible:

    • Which of the “things you might say” in any of the areas sound most like you?
    • If you were to draw a self-portrait or stick figure of yourself that reflects what is currently true in your life, would your head, heart, hands, or feet look out of proportion?
    • Think about the amount of time and energy you spend. Is there an area that’s gotten your sole focus for too long (for example, taking a lot of classes or reading a lot of Christian books, but rarely serving)? Which area has gotten little attention, and needs to grow? You might have more than one area that you would like to grow in, but for now just pick one – head, heart, hands, or feet – and write it down.

  • Closing prayer.

    Pray this prayer, or something like it: “God, please bless the next step I take towards growing closer to you.  Help me to choose Jesus in all that I do and say, every day. Remind me that I’m not alone in this – I have your Spirit, my church community, and Scripture to accompany me in this journey. Thank you for your love, grace, peace, and mercy. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Opportunities for Growth

Cornerstone Church has many options that will help you grow in each of these areas, and there are suggestions listed for each area on this page. There are also many resources available outside of the church. Don’t be overwhelmed. The goal is simply to pick one area you think needs some attention, and then take one small step in that direction.

This is an invitation, not a burden or a checklist. If you want to become a good musician, writer, or athlete, you’ve got to put in thousands of hours of practice. If you want to advance in your career, you have to get additional training and/or gain years of experience.  So if you want to have a life that’s shaped more like the life of Jesus, it requires some time and practice too!

Whatever small step you feel led to take, stay open to the changes it might require – whether it’s taking 10 minutes out of your morning or lunchtime to read the Bible and pray, attending a class, or committing to serve on a ministry team a couple of Sundays a month. We don’t become more like Jesus by magic, but rather by practicing his ways. Which area do you need some practice in?