This Sunday Andy Stanley’s going to tackle a question we hear often at Access, “How do I go deeper?”
The reality is that spiritual depth has far less to do with how much you know and an awful lot to do with how well you love people.
Unfortunately, while that message is all through the New Testament, we often miss that in church. In fact, if you hang out with church people very long you might start to think that following Jesus is all about knowing a lot. But it’s not. It’s about loving well.
Our mission statement is “to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” Everything we do is about that—seeing people increase their faith in God. So, how do we disciple people?
Some churches have a great teaching ministry—layers upon layers of classes and electives. In those churches, you hear phrases like “biblical literacy” a lot. Some of those people ask, “When does Access get to the deeper stuff?”
However, in my years of ministry, some of the smartest Christians I knew were also the worst at following Jesus’ purpose—”to seek and save the lost.”
Other churches talk about obedience. And it’s true that, if you love Jesus, you’ll obey him. But obedience absent the relationship is just pharisaical.
Obedience alone will make you judgmental.
Knowledge alone will make you proud.
A spiritually mature person is one who lives and loves as if God is who He says He is and will do all He has promised to do.
Knowledge? That’s a class.
Faith? Maturity? That’s a product of time. That’s what happens when God works through relationships and circumstances and when we exercise our ministry gifts. It’s what happens as we practice the private spiritual disciplines and tune our heart to the heart of God. And yes, it’s when practical Bible teaching shows us where we are and where we need to go.
Do we want to see people in a growing relationship with God? Absolutely! Will that happen as a result of classes, seminars, and electives? Not likely. And can it be measured by obedience? Only partly.
Okay, folks, don’t be shy about your comments. I’m sure not everyone agrees. I’d love to read your comments!
Join us Sunday to hear the entire message.