Written by Dene Nidiffer
I was 36 when I became a Christian. I had a lot of catching up to do! Like many others it came to me when I began feeling like something was missing. This was during a time of crisis. I thank God that it even came to me at all. His nudging made that happen!
I slowly, but surely, grew into learning about the Bible and Jesus and I felt like I did all the right things.
I joined a church.
I participated in small groups of several different kinds.
I became an active leader in a Women’s Ministry.
All of this allowed me to become so much more comfortable with being a Christian woman.
I’ve always been extremely capable of leading and feel comfortable in that role, too. But…
I started think about how do I know that I am still growing? I recently engaged in a really terrific discussion with some of my favorite Christian women. I began to look at what I have learned about growth and I looked at new resources, too. Finally, something truly simple enough to wrap my mind around, thankfully, as I came upon an article that boiled down the major stages of being a Christian.
PHASE ONE: THE NEW BORN SPIRITUAL INFANT – you know nothing and are soaking up every imaginable thing that Christianity has to offer like a new baby, toddler or child
PHASE TWO: THE SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE CHILD – you have a foundation and are testing the waters of your new found knowledge every day often failing yet often succeeding
PHASE THREE: THE MATURE SERVANT OF GOD – you are now ready to serve alongside others honing your knowledge in preparation to share with others as God intends
PHASE FOUR: THE EXPERIENCED TEACHER OR MENTOR – you are expected and readied by your experiences to share the legacy of faith with others by teaching them, mentoring them through your life.
I have seemingly conquered phase one, two and three fairly well. I have yet, other than in my parental role, to dive deep into phase 4 and that is truly the one that scares me the most. BUT… God’s got a plan for me (and you) and I have to listen and discern where He wants me next.
Read 2 Peter 1 it reminds us of what God wants for our faith… goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. In verse 8 of this passage it says…
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure; they will keep you from being ineffective and
unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but ineffective and unproductive are not traits that I want to be at all! It’s pretty clear, don’t you think?
What Phase are you in? I believe the fact that God is nudging me again tells me that I am still growing. He is giving me the opportunity to step up and make a plan for my growth. I am not yet 100% sure what it all means, but I suspect mentoring and teaching will be in my future.
Are you still growing? I pray the answer is YES and if it isn’t that you look at it just like I did to decide how you will always grow, too. Pray about it and ask God to reveal His next step for you.
Now it is time for me to further pursue the faith legacy I will leave! I’m excited about what is ahead!
Phases were found here.