Transformation Takes Time

Follow these steps to lead people down the path of continued spiritual growth.

Our small group, like most small groups, is comprised of people with varying degrees of Christian maturity. One lady arrived as a spiritual seeker. Within time, she committed her life to Christ and was baptized. The evening of her baptism was a special time for our small group, as we celebrated her decision and prayed with her. Both seasoned prayer warriors and new believers lifted up praises and petitions; new believers prayed out loud and learned that there is no right or wrong way to pray.

Because of this one event, others deeply grew in their prayer life. Those who never would have prayed out loud when they first joined ended the year praying. That kind of spiritual growth is exciting, but it doesn't happen immediately.

Transformation takes time. Despite the tendency to want instant spiritual growth, hosts are there to help members grow step-by-step, sometimes inch-by-inch. How do you do it? Following the acrostic CULTIVATE, here are nine simple steps to get you started.

Clarify the pathway of life. You need to begin with the end in mind. Ask, "What is the goal?" According to the Bible, the goal is to present every man and woman complete in Christ. There isn't one person in your circle who doesn't want to grow. Your role is to find out how to move each member ahead.

Jesus' call is clear. He wants to move us from a seeker of Christ to a student in Christ who is studying the Word and growing in our faith. However, most people get stuck at the midway point.

After we learn to be a student, Christ wants us to be a servant. Generally, 20 percent of people jump into a servant role. Your job is to let the other 80 percent know that God calls every one of his people, according to his or her ...

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