Pathway to Christian Growth

Part 1

After a person places their faith in Christ, they then begin a lifelong journey of spiritual growth and maturity. As a person learns more about God and His Word, and spends time in prayer and fellowship with other believers, they grow in Christlikeness.

Not only is this process lifelong, but it can often be up and down, forward and backward. It can even side to side! But take heart … over time, the big picture of our lives should be one of spiritual growth and maturity. I like what Paul says in Galatians 4:15, that he feels like he is, “In the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you …” He was desperate for these young, new believers in Galatia to grow and mature in their new walk with God.

The above diagram shows six steps along the Pathway to Christian Growth. Understanding each step can greatly help a person know where they are at today. More importantly, it helps understand how to continue to grow for the future. Let’s take a closer look at the first three steps:

1. The Pre-Believer

This is how a person is born, without the Spirit of God in their lives.

1 Corinthians 2:14 — “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God …”

Ephesians 2:11 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

This person needs God to grant them repentance, lead them to the truth, and help them come to their senses (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Also helpful would be a solid Christian witness in their life shining the light of Christ and sharing the gospel.

2. Questioning Seeker

This person is questioning. What happens after death? How the world come to be? Is Jesus real? Can I trust the Bible? God is revealing Himself to them through creation.

Romans 1:19-20 — “Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

This person needs to be born again spiritually (John 3:7). A Christ follower in their path is certainly helpful to give a clear explanation of the gospel and an opportunity to respond in faith (John 14:6).

3. New Christian

This person has repented of their sins and placed their faith in Christ (not in good works or being a good person) for salvation and eternity in heaven with God. They are born again and saved. The Bible calls them infants in Christ or a ‘babe’ in Christ.

Romans 10:9 — “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”

1 Corinthians 3:1 — “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly — mere infants in Christ.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 17). A mature believer is also helpful in guiding and disciplining while helping them plug into a Bible-based local church.

In Part Two, we will continue our pathway and study the next steps along the Pathway in Christian Growth journey!

Questions? Please reach out to me at lorijoinerministries.org.

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.