Jesus told a parable in Luke 8 about a Farmer who planted seeds. Some of these seeds fell on hard ground and were eaten by birds. Some fell in shallow soil and sprang of quickly, but did not develop root systems, and they died just as quickly as the dry heat scorched them. Still others fell in weedy soil, where they were choked out after a while by the weeds. A some fell in good soil and produced a good crop. One of the lessons we can take away from that parable is that environment is vital to our growth.
Remember this: Our spiritual growth doesn’t happen by accident. Not only doesn’t it require us to be intentional about doing those disciplines that lead to growth, but it also requires us to be part of a good church that provides the right environment for us to grow. The right environment includes leaders who are interested in Cultivating us to Maturity.
11 It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God - a mature person, attaining to the measure of Christ's full stature. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
A Christian leader is needed in the church so the church can become an environment for growth. The worries, cares, and passions of the world will kill the faith of a Christian, but so will a bickering and divided church. A person, and thus the church family, cannot reach maturity if there is fighting. Too many church families have been held back from making a positive impact in their communities because of their bickering and fighting. Not only did they fail to make an impact in the community, but they failed to mature the believers that were part of their family.
What a terrible thing it is when we don’t take advantage of the opportunities God provides for us. When God sends a church family people that church family needs to treat them as precious resources. He has a plan for their lives and He has entrusted the Church to prepare them for that plan.
What does this mean for us? A couple of things. First, it means that we must be committed to meeting together. We have to understand that our time with other Christians are for our spiritual growth. Second, we have to remember that a church that provides the right environment for growth is a church that is united and loving. We need to do our part to make sure that the our church family is a good place to grow. Remember the church provides not only the environment for us to grow spiritually, but it is the place other Christians grow as well. We have to do our part to make sure it remains a place where spiritual maturity can happen.
The Church is the place were Christian maturity happens.
- Point to Ponder: Spiritual maturity happens within united and loving church families.
- Passage to Remember: Ephesians 4:11-13
- Question to Consider: Why is a united and loving church vital to our growth as Christians?