Tag Archive - maturity


Why Churches Don’t Grow: #3 No Spiritual Maturity Pathway

Today we’re continuing this series of blog posts about the 5 key contributors that lead to 80% of churches in America being stuck or in decline. These key contributors have been observed repeatedly in our work with churches at the Unstuck Group. While churches get stuck and decline for all kinds of reasons, these 5 key contributors are the consistent culprits.

Many churches are stuck or declining not because they have a difficult time attracting or introducing new people to Jesus but because they have no plan in place to move people towards spiritual maturity or the plan they’re working is broken. Here are a couple of indicators that there is a breakdown somewhere in your spiritual maturity pathway:

1. Content is Mistaken for the Solution

Neither Jesus nor the Apostle Paul defined spiritual maturity as knowledge. Content is not the solution. It’s not what you know; it’s what you do with what you know. It’s an issue of obedience and application. Is your church actually helping people apply the Bible to their everyday life or are you just teaching bible classes?

2. There are Too Many Steps

If the road map to spiritual maturity has been defined at your church and it’s too long or has too many steps it simply won’t work. People will quit on you. Then you will have the tendency to think the few people you end up with at the end of the arduous process you’ve build are the spiritual elite. Meanwhile many people who could have been brought along with you have been left by the wayside to figure it out on their own. Jesus only spent 3 years with His disciples and then turned them loose to change the world. Most churches today would never let the disciples serve in a leadership role, much less lead the church because they hadn’t “walked with Jesus long enough.” We’re not building Fords, we’re building disciples. Disciplemaking is not an assembly line.

3. There is No Clear Next Step

When someone says yes to following Jesus have you defined the next step for them to take? Then what happens next? Is the process working? Each step in the process needs to be clear, natural and intuitive. Has your church taken the time to map out and answer the question of “What’s my next step?” Then ask that question over and over again until you’ve arrived at some point of “spiritual maturity.”

4. People aren’t Giving or Serving

You’re never more like Jesus than when you give or when you serve; because giving and serving are the very essence of what it means to live like Jesus. Does your church treat volunteering as discipleship? Does your church not only provide opportunities for people to give and serve but train them how to do both well?

Photo Credit: boegh via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation


Who is Resposible for the Spiritual Maturity of the Church?

I can remember when my kids were finally old enough to go downstairs, get their own cereal, and turn on the television to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I remember because Lisa and I finally got to sleep in! Every parent understands what an incredibly glorious moment this is. And if you haven’t experienced this yet, well, you have much to look forward to.

This is kinda the whole point of parenting right? That our kids would grow up and move towards autonomy. That, among other things, they would learn how to feed themselves.

The same is true as new Christians begin to grow up and mature. The hope is that they would, among other things, learn to feed themselves.

And yet frequently I hear complaints by church attenders across North America that their church is not, “deep enough.” Essentially they’re saying that they’re hungry. And you want to know the first thought that passes through my mind when I hear comments like these? “If you’re hungry, eat. You know where the food is.”

You see at the end of the day each person is responsible for their own spiritual development, not their pastor. God is going to hold each unique individual accountable for his or her own thoughts, words, and actions. Not their pastor.

So the next time you hear someone complaining about how their church isn’t “deep enough” encourage them to take some personal ownership for their own relationship with Jesus and go get their own bowl of Cheerios.

Posted in Spiritual Formation


a mile deep and an inch wide

Maturity is not what you know, but what you do with what you know. It is God’s people acting in obedience to what has been revealed to them! You see, knowledge is not the same as discipleship or spiritual maturity, it’s just not. For years I’ve heard people shout in protest and warning to the mega-church movement, “It’s possible to be a mile wide and an inch deep.” Thank you for pointing that out “Caption Obvious” I’ll affirm and heed the warning. But what scares me to death for the Church of America today is the more subtle and more probable trapping of being a mile deep and an inch wide. Or, at least the appearance of it. For years in Churches across America we’ve concerned ourselves with dumping more information into our people through countless sermons, bible studies, Sunday School lessons, and prayer meetings. Information, information, information, and oh yes, a little more information. What the Church needs are leaders who will call people to action and motivate people to stop just simply coming to church and start being the church. To be obedient to what they know. How sad is it that many Christians I know will forget more about the Bible in their lifetime than most people will ever hear about or have the opportunity to know? The Scriptures would seek to teach us that knowledge that does not lead to obedience ends up leading us to an arrogant attitude, an exclusivist mindset, a judgmental spirit, and all sorts of sin that destroys the work of God in the Church and around the world. At Verge 2010 Ed Stetzer gave a talk that should stir your heart up on this issue more than a little bit. So you can process this a bit further I’ve put in a couple of short clips and quotes from that talk for you below.

Continue Reading…

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation



Had a great time this past weekend landing the series that we’ve been in for the last few weeks at Cornerstone, “3-2-B”! We’ve been walking through three very simple, but very key words to our culture at Cornesrtone, “Worship, Grow, and Serve.” This past Sunday we landed on the fact that it is possible for us to come to a weekend worship service, be in a small group, have right theology, and still never look like Jesus. And that maturity is not what you know, but what you do with what you know. I’ve put in the trailer for the series below too, just because our Creative Arts Team did too good of a job to not post it! Enjoy!

Posted in Creative Arts, Spiritual Formation