Summary: Making Disciples; Making a Difference Helping Others Grow: Spiritual Infants and Spiritual Children
Making Disciples; Making a Difference
Helping Others Grow: Spiritual Infants and Spiritual Children
1 Cor 3:1-9
We started this series seeing that Jesus describes the win for us as making disciples. We saw that a disciple is someone who follows Christ; is being changed by Christ; and is committed to the mission of Christ. Then we looked at a disciples’ stages of growth. Then we looked at three keys to making disciples. Intentional Leaders + Relational Environment + Reproducible Process = Multiplying Disciples. Last week Kevin began the last leg of our series telling us what we mean by Win in our vision. This week I will begin to share with you what does training look like or helping spiritual infants and children grow. So lets see how we can help others grow.
1. Share with Spiritual Infants:
Spiritual infants are characterized by ignorance so what they need are spiritual parents who will share with them. Remember, spiritual infants can be new Christians or Christians who have been stagnant for long time.
Share your Life (Mark 3:14)
Spiritual infants need spiritual parents to care for them and protect them because they are highly dependent upon others for their spiritual growth and stability. They have high relational needs and so it is important to be intentional about sharing out lives with them – bring them along to the men's meeting, have coffee with them, hang out with them. It is impossible to parent everyone so it is critical that we be intentional with a few rather than relational with many. You may not be able to reach the world but you can one reach person at a time. This is one of the reasons Jesus chose twelve men to be his disciples. Even within the twelve, Jesus was more intimate with three; and then one was probably his best friend. Paul was the same way. He had many fellow workers but only mentions one spiritual son. As you share your life and your time with them, you share answers to their questions because spiritual infants are characterized by ignorance.
Share answers to their questions
Spiritual infants do not know much about God or their relationship with him, the bible, or the church. They have confused ideas about God, community, etc. You also share new habits with them.
Share New Habits (1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18)
Habit of prayer and bible reading
Spiritual infants need guidance on bible translations and good books to read. Then need help with reading and understanding the bible. They need help reading their bibles and held accountable to read. Some of you don’t have the habit of bible reading because you did not have someone disciple you or never had anyone love you enough to hold you accountable to it! They also need help with prayer, which goes hand in hand with bible reading. We hear God speak to us from his word and then we respond to him in prayer. Spiritual infants need to be taught to hear Gods voice through the word and in prayer.
Habit of sharing the gospel
Teach them to share the gospel and their testimony.
Habit of church attendance
Many times spiritual infants love church but sometimes they do not understand the importance of church, being connected to a spiritual family. A few weeks ago we looked at Hebrews 10:24-25 which describes the importance of meeting together. The reason we gather is to be encouraged, to persevere, fight against sin, hear from God. All of us need to be connected, committed, and submitted to a local church family.
2. Helping Spiritual Children Connect
The characteristic of spiritual children is self centeredness. Unless spiritual children connect with God, with others, and with their purpose, they will stay self centered. As a disciple grows out of spiritual infancy and into spiritual childhood, they have a high need for community and relationships outside of their spiritual parents. Biblically, all of us need others spiritual growth, but this is especially true for spiritual children. If you don’t have others that speak into your life then you are probably spiritually stagnant or at least stunted. Let’s look at the three connections spiritual children need.
Connect with their Father
Everything flows from our connection with God our Father! But if you do not have any real, dynamic relationship with Christ then you are not going be able to help others much because you cannot give what you do not have. More is caught than is taught. The discipleship process is not just teaching but also modeling and mentoring. What are things in your relationship with God that you could show someone else to help them?
Connect with their spiritual family
Spiritual children need to connect with spiritual family. Sundays are like a family gathering that connects all of us with our extended family but all of us need to be connected to a primary family like a life group. In a life group you can connect as immediate family, with brothers and sisters and parents. Much of church life in the New Testament was like a house church, similar to life group.