Faith is an adventure that Jesus calls us to. It’s about life and any living thing is a growing thing. Faith is active, not passive – it’s an adventure! At FBC we exist to help people find and follow Jesus, we want to help you find and follow Jesus, we want to journey with you to help you grow in your faith.
It’s such a big thing that we can often struggle to know where to start or what to do next. We’ve identified 3 areas that we think are crucial for us if we want to keep growing and to keep going on this adventure. If you are starting out on this journey then picking one of these areas to invest in is a good place to start. If you are further down this road, you probably need to ensure you working on all 3.
Spiritual growth happens best in the context of community, in fact we believe that you can’t grow spiritually unless you are connected relationally. Intentional community is about having a group of people around you with whom you can be open, honest and real. It’s the people you can let your guard down with, the people with whom you can be vulnerable. Its people who can encourage, support, challenge and care for you and for who you can do the same.
Who comes to mind for you for this? Who are the people who are there for you and who you are there for? Who are the people who know you, really know, who are the people who are in your corner, who are the people who will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it? That’s intentional community, it’s not about just meeting up with people, it’s about being intentional with them to help each other grow in your faith
Most of us don’t like the word discipline, but we do recognise the importance of it. Personal disciplines are those healthy habits that we need to employ as part of the development of our faith. Its things like reading the bible for ourselves, praying by ourselves and other habits like giving, fasting, worship and so on. If you want to grow in your faith you have to engage in personal disciplines. Establishing helpful rhythms can help with this, perhaps that’s getting into the habit of finding some time each day or at regular points throughout your week to spend time with God.
Whilst you do have to do this for yourself, you don’t have to do it by yourself – being in intentional community can help you – either by learning from others or by finding time to do this with others.
This is where our faith moves from being inward to outward. Its about actively applying the things we discover about Jesus, actively seeking to live our lives in the way he would if he was in our shoes. A great question to ask yourself is ‘What does love require of me?’ Lots of the things that Jesus spoke about points in this direction – asking and acting on that question is active faith.
Active Faith is also about stepping out of our comfort zones and allowing ourselves to see God at work in us and through us. God has a plan to rescue and restore the world and that plan includes you. He has a plan to bring hope and meaning to peoples lives and that plan includes you. He could do all this by himself but he has chosen to use everyday people like you and me.
Of course there is more out there, there are other ways you can grow your faith. We have seen a general trend among people who are thriving in their faith – all three of these areas are present and prominent in their lives. And similarly, when people stall or struggle in their faith one or more of these areas tends to be missing.