What’s Your Strategy for Spiritual Vitality?
George Barna (of the Barna Group) in his book Maximum Faith: Live Like Jesus* details the results of a long-term research project, describing a ten-stop journey that produces robust life transformation and why most people struggle to pass the half-way mark. He observed that people are pretty random – not intentional – about their efforts to experience God-driven transformation. (Barna.com)
Watch the video below where Jeannette Meitz from DTI reviews the 10 Steps of Transformation to become more like Jesus, with excellent comments and insights.
Let's "dig" deeper into the “Ten Stops” of Spiritual Transformation
At their General Conference 2019 (Free Methodist Church), Bishop Keith Cowart said this about these 10 Steps of Transformation. "This study tells us that we are struggling mightily with discipleship. Many churches are actually 'lowering the bar' -- telling people it won't cost them to follow Jesus. But that's not what Jesus said!"
In Matthew 16:25, Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Bishop Cowart continued, "Discipleship must be focused on life transformation, not just joining a church." He also pointed out that Jesus did not say just to 'teach them', but 'teach them to obey'.
Barna says that these stops (or steps or waypoints) in our journey to wholeness can be used as a reasonable guide to help us stay focused on our growth and transformation to become more like Jesus and become spiritually mature. They are not necessarily linear, but more of an “ebb and flow” of steps forward and steps backward. And since each stop or step has an accompanying “price tag” people sometimes go completely backwards and camp out there, rather than endure hardship or other suffering. They get comfortable in a less-demanding stop and settle for less than God’s best for them.
We also may allow God to transform us in several areas, Barna says, without letting Him completely transform all areas.
The last three stops / steps / waypoints make up ONLY 2% OF ALL AMERICANS! That is very sad. What if we had a TOOL that would help believers continue their journey to the Vital Spirituality section?
If all new believers residing in “Initial Salvation” (the 33%) could each be spiritually mentored by a more mature believer who is farther along in their “Spiritual Vitality” (the 11%), the church would have a greater impact! How does this happen?
This chart shows where the DTI lessons in (A Tool For Personal Discipleship) most probably apply to help move Christians “to the right” along their spiritual journey towards “Sacrificial love of others.”
It is the believers who have a sacrificial love of others who will be witnessing to the Pre-Christians (56%) and discipling / spiritually mentoring the new believers (33%), so that more and more Christians are being transformed creating an ongoing cycle of reproduction where disciples are making disciples who make disciples, as Paul instructs his mentee Timothy:
2 Timothy 2:2 And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Where is your church in this Ongoing Cycle of Reproduction? Remember it's the believers who have a profound love of God and a sacrificial love of others who will be your most productive spiritual mentors.
* (Copyright 2011, published in association with the literary agency of Fedd and Company, Inc. 606 Flemingo Blvd, Austin, TX 78734, a joint publication of Metaformation Inc., Ventura, California; Strategenius Group LLC, New York, New York; and WHC Publishing, Glendora, California.)