Personal Growth Guide
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7
The pursuit of holiness requires the disciple of Jesus Christ to be devoted to the cultivation of the spiritual disciplines in his or her own life. We want to help you by offering some suggestions. First, click here for a year-long Bible reading plan. You are free to use this one or one of your own, but please get in God’s Word daily!
A brief description of the spiritual disciplines is provided below to help you understand what they are and why they are important. Spiritual Discipline of the Month cards will dig deeper into a particular discipline and offer practical ways to begin or grow in its practice. Focusing on one particular discipline each month will help us, as a faith family, move toward godliness. Please pick up the appropriate card each month from the Welcome Center.
Scripture Reading Bible intake is the most important of the spiritual disciplines. If we want to know God, we need to know His Word, intimately. To do that, we need to read, and not just hear, God’s Word.
Prayer Prayer is expected, as the Bible and Jesus’ own teachings show. Prayer is learned through practice and meditation on God’s Word.
Worship Worship is focusing on and responding to God. It is done in Spirit and in Truth, and is expected both publicly and privately. It is a discipline to be cultivated daily.
Scripture Meditation Bible meditation is both commanded by God and modeled in Scripture. It involves filling your mind with God and his truth, so that it fully permeates your mind and thoughts.
Evangelism Evangelism is a discipline; it should be a natural overflow of the Christian life, but we must discipline ourselves to actually make it happen.
Serving Christians are expected to serve and gifted to serve, but serving one another is hard work and it takes discipline to do it.
Stewardship Discipline in the area of stewardship enables us to best use our time and money for God’s glory.
Scripture Application We can hear, read, meditate on and even memorize Scripture, but it is all useless if it does not get into and shape our lives. Learning to apply biblical truth to concrete situations requires discipline.
Fasting Fasting may be the least understood and practiced discipline of our day. While often associated with food, fasting involves the voluntary abstinence from any normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.
Silence & Solitude This discipline involves the voluntary and temporary withdrawing to silent privacy for spiritual purposes. Silence and solitude are largely missing in our modern day and need to be intentionally cultivated.
Journaling Journaling blends biblical doctrine with daily living in a way that many Christians find fascinating and helpful. It is modeled in the Bible, even if not commanded. Journaling allows us to know ourselves better and pour our heart out before the Lord.
Learning To be a disciple means to be a learner as well as a follower. Zeal is essential, but burning hearts are not kindled by brainless heads; a fire cannot blaze without fuel. Theology is sometimes considered a bad word, but it just means, “what do I believe about God?” Disciplined study helps us believe rightly about God. Every Christian is called to be a spiritual learner, not just pastors and “super-Christians.”
With rare exceptions, to be a godly person is to be a busy person. We are all busy, but the spiritual disciplines can make a godly person from a busy person. Make it a priority to persevere in cultivating spiritual discipline in your life. We hope you will use this guide and the monthly emphasis cards as a tool.
We are heavily indebted to Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life for this material.