I have to admit that my life as a follower of Jesus is kind of twisty-turny.
Over the last 32 years, I’ve rubbed shoulders with Christians from three different geographic regions of the U.S., in four very different denominations with very, very different ways of thinking about the Bible and spiritual life, been through two Bible colleges, one seminary, one ordination, two pastorates, and one return to the laity.
No so average, right?
As you can imagine, the hairpin turns on my road have forced me to think and rethink what I thought was important for my spiritual growth and my family’s. Some things that I used to think were important, I now think are less so. And vice versa.
Church & Spiritual Stuff
Imagine a file cabinet for “Church & Spiritual Stuff” in my heart and head. This cabinet has two drawers: one labeled Major stuff, the other, Minor stuff. Over time files have been added, removed and moved from one drawer to the other.
In this post I wanted to open my Major file drawer and share some of the “Church & Spiritual Stuff” currently in it. These are the things that have had a significant impact on my spiritual life and growth. They’re major to me now, though they may not always have been so.
I offer this list to you as suggestions to consider for your own Major stuff drawer. Maybe someday I’ll follow up with a “why?” post. But for now, here’s my list of “what?” in no particular order.
My Major Spiritual Stuff
- Trusting Jesus alone to save me – I can’t add to, or detract from, what He did for me on the cross.
- Regular self-examination and confession – prayerfully considering whether the way I think and behave toward others reflects God’s love, confessing my sin, and praying that God would change me.
- Regular Church attendance
- Regularly receiving the Lord’s Supper (Communion)
- Regular prayer and Bible reading – aka “devotions,” “quiet time, “personal worship”.
- Church membership – as opposed to church attendance only.
- Formal catechism of children and new Christians – how I wish I had had this.
- Sabbath observance – stopping the weekly busy-ness to enjoy worship, and physical and emotional rest.
- Studying the Bible – so that it convicts, comforts, teaches, and transforms my heart and mind.
- Theological development – understanding the major themes and teachings of the Bible with the help of good resources (books, magazines, blogs, recordings) on theology and Church history.
- Discerning good vs. bad teaching – this wisdom comes from the two items above.
- Sharing the Gospel – learning how to talk with people about the good news and the bad news.
- Mentoring/Discipleship – being mentored/discipled so that I can mentor/disciple others.
- Giving to, and serving, people in need – major improvement needed here.
So what do you think? Should these be in my Major file?
What’s in your Major file?
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