Examining and testing ourselves

Good Monday!

Hope your week has started well!

I am continually thinking about what it means to be spiritually healthy – to be spiritually mature.  I have found the Five Purposes that Rick Warren articulates in “The Purpose Driven Life” to be a useful measurement because, if we are growing in our worship of God, in our discipleship through his Word, in genuine fellowship with other believers, in knowing and using our spiritual gifts, and in sharing Christ with others, that would indicate to me a healthy growing Christian – and a healthy growing church.

I came across the “grid” below in an email blog today from a writer named Regis Nicoll.  He offers similar criteria to assess whether we as a church –  or individually – are growing in our spiritual health and discipleship with Christ.  Nicoll identifies 5 outcomes that ought to be present in the life of a growing disciple of Christ:  salvataion, maturity, inreach, outreach, and evangelism.  He also gives some indicators as to whether those outcomes actually have been achieved.  Here is his grid.

Discipleship       Church Health Indicator

Outcome             What percentage of your congregation…

Salvation             Has received Jesus as Lord and Savior?

Maturity              Is pursuing spiritual formation through regular corporate worship (at least 3 times per month)?  Through small group study?  Through the practice of spiritual disciplines?  Is involved in an accountability relationship?  Is mentoring another person?  Know their spiritual gift(s)?  Tithe (i.e., 10 percent)?

Inreach                 Are using their giftedness within the church?

Outreach             Are you using their gift(s) in the workplace and community?

Evangelism         Are intentional in forging relationships with the unchurched?  Are intentional in sharing your faith with non-believers?

I find this a helpful tool to assess where I am in my walk with Christ – and to evaluate what we need to work on as a church.  But whatever means of measuring we use, let’s don’t take our discipleship for granted.  The Apostle Paul gave this instruction to the Corinthians:  “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”  (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Thanks for the opportunity to be with you on this journey of faith together!

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