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Growth Guide

Growth Guide

Grow in Every Season

We are excited about changing lives and transforming communities in our homes, city, and world. Change and transformation toward spiritual growth is a life-long journey and we want to provide resources along the way.

We invite you to join us on this discipleship journey toward acting like Jesus, thinking like Jesus and speaking like Jesus. This booklet will provide you with a spiritual roadmap. You will be able to assess your spiritual growth, determine roadblocks and utilize resources to help you become a maturing and multiplying follower of Jesus. The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. Many Calvary staff and leaders are excited to walk along this journey with you.

- Pastor Terry Sanderson

How to Use this Resource:

Read through the seasons of spiritual growth. Next Steps are listed for each season in three categories:

  1. Identify whyere you are currently on your spiritual journey.
  2. Complete the spiritual growth self-assessment.
  3. Reflect on what you are learning and select a next step for growth.
  4. Discuss your insights with another person.

Spiritual Growth Assessment

What’s So Important about Spiritual Growth?

When we are spiritually stronger, everything else in our life finds proper perspective. Spiritual growth is the process that God leads us through to make us more like Christ. Ephesians 4 says that spiritual growth is the lifelong process of “putting off your old self” and “putting on your new self.” This means that spiritual growth isn’t a one-time thing, but that for the rest of our lives we’ll be on a journey toward spiritual maturity. We occasionally hit spiritual walls where it seems like we are stuck. Ignatius of Loyola said it this way: “Surprisingly, our lows as well as our highs are expressions of God’s grace and opportunities for learning.”

This tool will help you plan your next steps so you can Live in Community, Experience Growth, and Lead Transformation. The suggested next steps and the Spiritual Growth Self-Assessment are categorized into these three areas. You may want to find an area of relative weakness and choose a next step in that area. Remember, getting it exactly right isn’t the point - the point is to assess where you are spiritually, and take a next step of growth from there.

As you take this assessment, be encouraged that God is not only cheering you on, but He is helping you move forward. Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Remember, spiritual growth is a lifelong journey, so pace yourself and step into new areas, creating opportunities for God to work in and through you as He shapes you into the person He intends you to be.

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A Season of Seeking

Seeking describes those who are investigating the person of Jesus and the church. They are hungry for truth, searching for meaning and possibly looking for their place of belonging. They may participate in spiritual gatherings or conversations, but limit their involvement in church. This person could be characterized as looking for answers.

  • Living in Community
    • Meeting with a pastor or friend to discuss questions
    • Attending a worship service or class weekly to understand more
  • Experiencing Growth
    • Reading through the book of Mark with someone who is a follower of Jesus
    • 30 Days with Jesus Bible reading plan
    • The Case for Christ 7-day reading plan
    • Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
    • Right Now Media
      • The Reason for God: Thoughts on Faith and Life by Tim Keller
      • Think Like a Detective by Warner Wallace
      • The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  • Leading Transformation
    • Asking God to reveal Himself
    • Volunteer to serve in one of our community ministries
  • Hesitating to take a definitive next step, staying in uncertainty
  • Overworking, busyness that can lead to distractions from what God is doing
  • Not realizing that pain may be a roadblock to faith
  • Not being aware of own worldview (our default way we understand and view the world around us)
  • Allowing other priorities to fill your schedule

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A Season of First Steps

First Steps describes someone who has put their faith in Jesus as Savior. They recognize that their sin separates them from God and that forgiveness and new life is only possible through Jesus. They are actively seeking to leave the old ways of living and embracing a new way where Jesus is the leader of their life. They are becoming more aware of their daily need for Jesus. 1st Steps describes someone who is learning the basic beliefs of who God is and who we are as His people.

  • Living in Community
    • Meeting with a spiritual mentor to learn some of the basics of following Jesus
    • Attending a Meet the Pastor Lunch
    • Engaging in a small group to learn God’s Word and be supported by others
  • Experiencing Growth
    • Downloading the YouVersion Bible App (and starting a reading plan in Mark)
    • Participating in The Whole Story. Watch parts or the whole sermon series (visit calvary.church/grow/resources)
    • Talking to God through prayer each day
  • Leading Transformation
    • Being baptized
    • Learning to share my spiritual story
    • Serving at Calvary, in our community, or in our world
  • Not connecting to other followers of Jesus for encouragement, support and learning
  • Experiencing a personal crisis - disease, family problem, or grief
  • Not engaging in regular Bible reading and prayer
  • Not asking for help from other Christians to get rooted in faith
  • Letting a lack of knowledge hinder participation in group settings

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A Season of Growing

Growing describes someone who has taken their first steps as a follower of Christ and is moving to the next stage in their spiritual journey. This person is becoming more comfortable with spiritual practices like prayer and reading scripture. They are growing in understanding the core doctrines of the faith. They have a greater awareness of their personal sin and are seeking to be a godly influence on others. They are engaged in worshiping God and serving others and are experiencing spiritual growth. Their lives are being conformed to the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and they are becoming aware of their spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, many Christians remain in this stage for the duration of their spiritual journey.

  • Living in Community
    • Attending Core Classes
    • Joining a Small Group
    • Taking a spiritual retreat
    • Reading 20 Basics Every Christian Should Know with another follower of Jesus
  • Experiencing Growth
    • Reminding yourself of your identity in Jesus each day
    • Deepening spiritual habits like Bible reading and prayer
    • Applying God’s truth to your life
    • Developing an understanding of the whole story of the Bible from beginning to end
    • Giving God ownership of finances, schedule, and relationships
  • Leading Transformation
    • Using natural abilities, learned skills and God-given spiritual gifts to serve others in church and in the community
    • Developing an understanding of the whole story of the Bible from beginning to end
    • Serve at Calvary, in our Community, or in our World
  • Spiritual burnout - compulsive spiritually, compassion fatigue
  • Lacking self-awareness
  • Not moving beyond consumer mentality (it’s about me) to contributor mentality (it’s about God and others)
  • Not having a grace-based identity
  • Not processing doubts and struggles in a healthy manner
  • Hesitating to take faith beyond the walls of church
  • Living in a compartmentalized manner (letting God have ownership of certain aspects of our lives but not others)

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A Season of being Christ-centered

Christ-centered describes someone who is surrendering their life to Jesus each day. They know God’s Word and are confident in God’s power and presence in their lives. They are connecting with God daily through personal spiritual practices and consistently growing in godly character. They confess their sin to God and others and purposefully give God ownership of each area of their life. They are growing in a deeper love for God and others. This love cultivates a willingness to steward their time, talents and treasures for God’s mission.

  • Living in Community
    • Becoming involved in a small group
    • Committing to attending worship services more regularly
    • Beginning (or be trained to begin) a discipleship relationship
  • Experiencing Growth
    • Learning to live according to the promises of God
    • Surrendering every part of life to God each day
    • Growing in trust of God’s acceptance, forgiveness, and freedom in Jesus
    • Increasing generosity through giving of time, talents, and treasure beyond comfort zone
    • Implementing a new spiritual discipline into your life (ie. Bible memory, fasting, prayer journal)
    • Growing in awareness of how past experiences influence present life story, values, perspectives, and behaviors
  • Leading Transformation
    • Increase your serving in your home, neighborhood, or through Calvary
    • Consider moving to a level of leadership in a ministry
    • Participating in a short-term mission project
    • Intentionally develop relationships with neighbors
  • Refusing to respond well to trials or the testing of your faith
  • Not recognizing emotions and including them in the way we follow Jesus each day
  • Withholding generosity of time, talents, and/or treasures
  • Growing in knowledge of God but not in love and service for others
  • Faith Crisis - experiencing disbelief or cynicism

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A Season of Maturing and Multiplying

Maturing and Multiplying describes someone who is sought out by others for spiritual insight and wisdom. They have known God’s Word and applied it in their life over a significant period of time. Their ultimate aim is to steward their life for God’s glory. They are characterized by the great commandment and the great commission. They are extravagantly tithing, serving and evangelizing. Their character is defined by humility, love and grace. The fruit of the Spirit is evident to those around them. Their purpose in life is to equip others for ministry multiplication.

  • Living in Community
    • Understanding and engaging in multiplying disciples of Jesus
    • Mentoring others who share similar passions and spiritual gifting
    • Helping others understand their stories and growth opportunities
  • Experiencing Growth
    • Living and giving extravagantly to the mission of God
    • Being a life-long learner and recognizing that we will never “arrive”
    • Listening to the Deep Dive each week (calvary.church/grow/resources)
  • Leading Transformation
    • Leading a Small Group
    • Pursuing the actions and attitude of a servant-leader
    • Seeking to minister out of your unique story, strengths and passions
  • Reverting to being a consumer rather than using gifts and passions to serve others
  • Making our name great through ministry instead of making His name great
  • Thinking that going deeper means in knowledge only
  • Allowing spiritual pride to take root
  • Becoming closed to ways other people grow
  • Refusing to share struggles with others along with successes
  • Ongoing spiritual dryness

Still need to take the assessment? Take it now!

Spiritual Growth Assessment


The process of growth continues...

  • Revisit this growth guide and assessment each year.
  • Work through your insights with your group or ministry team or family.
  • Don't worry about the exact right stage or score or step - the important thing is to keep moving forward!

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