Our daughter is taking an Early Childhood Education program. She’s studying child development, including what’s appropriate at every stage. It’s important to know what to expect from children so that we can plan accordingly and understand how to encourage growth at every stage.
The same is true with us. We’re at different stages in our walk with God. We need to understand where we are so that we can plan accordingly and know what steps to take that are appropriate at our stage.
What’s Your Stage?
In How to Grow, I describe six stages in our walk with God:
- The Pre-Questioning may not believe in God; they may believe in a different god. They aren’t really interested in Jesus and His message.
- The Questioning don’t know much about Jesus, but are open.
- The Believing identify as Christian.
- The Growing show evidence of a relationship with Jesus Christ, have joined a church community, and are learning the basics of the faith.
- The Mentoring are growing in faith and obedience, and helping others to grow.
- The Maturing don’t often think much of themselves. They walk with a limp. But they have grown in godliness and influence others to godliness.
It’s important to realize that these categories are neater than reality. We’re not widgets; we can’t be sorted into neat categories. They’re still a helpful tool, though, for understanding where we are in our own growth.
If you’d like to find out your own stage, you can take a quick survey here.
Know How to Grow at Your Stage
When you understand your stage, you can know what actions are most helpful to take right now.
- The Pre-Questioning need stimulating conversations, genuine friendships with Christians, and the opportunity to see the Christian faith lived out.
- The Questioning can grow by learning the story of Christianity, exploring the Bible, and seeing the Christian faith lived out in community.
- The Believing can grow by learning the basics of Christianity, reading the Bible, praying, and learning from other Christians.
- The Growing can grow by learning and applying the gospel, developing habits of grace, and helping others progress through the stages.
- The Mentoring can grow by looking for faithful people, entrusting the gospel to them, and helping them become disciple-makers.
- The Maturing can continue to grow by sharing their lives with others, and by drawing close to Christ.
For more information on the steps you can take at each stage, see chapter 4 of How to Grow.
Every Stage Is Beautiful
Every stage is beautiful. Each stage has strengths, and we can enjoy it. Just as children are beautiful at every stage, so is every stage of our growth in Christ.
The challenge: to keep growing. Understand your current stage, and take the next step to grow. Not only will you benefit, but you will bring glory to God, and your life will influence others.
For more on the stages, and how to grow, please check out How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to ALL of Life.