3 Vital Relationships
The sign of a mature christian is not found in how much they know, it's shown through how they are following Jesus. Following Jesus is simply about growing in our love for God which is shown through a growing love for others (Matthew 22:36-40; John 13:35; Galatians 5:6). As we grow in our love for God it should impact who we are on the inside and what we do on the outside. To effectively follow Jesus requires us to grow in 3 key relationships: ‘Up, In and Out’.
‘Up’ is about growing in intimacy with God – looking up in worship and devotion. Spending time with God, establishing healthy habits and rhythms like a daily quiet time.
‘In’ is about connecting into authentic community with people inside the church; encouraging and helping one another to keep growing in our faith. Connect Groups and Volunteer teams provide a great way for people to connect 'In' and feel part of the family of the church.
‘Out’ is about growing in influence with people outside the church, demonstrating and declaring the good news with them. Sharing the good news of Jesus through what we do and what we say. Invitation is a key way we can take a step 'Out'. It gets the conversation going.
- How am I looking UP, connecting IN and reaching OUT?
- Which one of these relationships do I need to invest more in?
- What resources at FBC could I tap into to help me?
- What external resources could I use to help me?
We recognise that God uses different opportunities to grow our faith. We call them ‘faith catalysts’. We have identified six common ways in which God grows our faith.
1. Practical Teaching
We don't want to settle for just giving people information. Growing in our faith is about transformation. God uses the knowledge we acquire to change our hearts and our minds. We design our teaching at FBC (through Sunday Mornings and Connect Groups) to help people engage with the Bible and see how it applies and relates to their everyday life. We aim to make faith practical.
If we want to continue to grow in our faith we need to engage with other content beyond Sunday mornings. The good news is that there is an endless buffet of excellent resources out there for you to dive into. Podcasts, videos, sermons, books. The challenge isn't finding content to feed ourselves, it's knowing where to start.
2. Providential Relationships
God puts people on our path and in our lives to help us grow in our faith. We are created for community. We cannot grow spiritually unless we are connected relationally. God works through the people around to help us grow in our faith, and he uses us to help the people around us grow in their faith. Connect Groups and Volunteer Teams create space and opportunity for us to develop these life transforming relationships.
3. Private Disciplines
We grow in our faith when we take responsibility for our own faith journey, when we learn to ‘feed ourselves’. Things like reading the Bible, praying, fasting and giving are all disciplines that we chose to do for ourselves. We seek to help you develop private disciples through our practical teaching. Connect Groups also provide environments that foster accountability and encouragement! There are so many great resources out there that help us embrace spiritual disciplines. Recognising how we best relate to God, what our individual spiritual pathway is, will help us embrace private disciplines in a manner that fits how we are wired.
4. Personal Ministry
We also grow in our faith when we start to use our time and talents to serve others. It creates personal dependency on God. It also encourages us when we see God at work through us. Volunteering in a team and inviting unchurched friends to come with us to church are key ways we can engage in our own personal ministry. Living out our faith wherever we are: at home, work, with our neighbours, is a place we can also exercise personal ministry. Actively caring for those around us and being good news.
5. Presence Filled Worship
Being aware of the presence of God in times of worship, whether we are by ourselves, in a small group or part of a crowd, can be moments where our faith increase and we are inspired to take a next step. Sunday Mornings, Nights of Worship, Connect Groups and our own private disciplines are key ways to experience these moments.
6. Pivotal Circumstances
Life changing events can be ‘make or break’ moments for our faith. God can use these to grow our faith, especially if we are engaging with the other faith catalysts. Romans 8:28 tells us that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. We can’t programme or plan for these events, but we can create community that supports individuals through these times in a way that grows their faith.
- How can you create space and time to embrace a private discipline?
- Where/how can you stretch your faith through personal ministry?
- What resources can you use to increase your knowledge of the Bible and God?
- Who are you praying for to discover Jesus for themselves? Who are you inviting?
- Who are you pouring into in order to help them grow in their faith?
We would love to help you discover your next step in your faith journey, if you would like some advice or help, just fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you as soon as we can.
If you are wanting to grow in your faith but you are not in a Connect Group or a Volunteer team, we would really encourage you to think about that as your next step.