The start of a new year (a new decade!), is a great opportunity to ask ‘how will I make sure I keep growing as a Christian over the coming year?’ Here is what Paul says to the Philippian church, ‘I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith.’ (Phil. 1:25 NLT). As we grow in our faith, increasingly we experience joy as believers. The pathway to growth as Christians and to deep and lasting joy is the same!
So here are 5 things that will help you to keep growing in faith this coming year.
1. Daily Bible reading and prayer
Go for it… if you haven’t done this before, why not aim for just 5 minutes each day? It
There is a great set of notes called Explore (get them here, or download as an app- search ‘explore bible app’), which give you a Bible passage to read each day, some explanation, and a few suggestions for prayer.
If you prefer listening, why not do the audio Bible in a year? There are some great reading plans at https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/, and an option to listen, rather than read. Or you could buy the audio Bible in a year read by David Suchet (available on audible).
2. Pray daily for a non-Christian friend (or three)
Jesus calls all Christians to be shining lights for him. There will be friends we have who we would love to invite to church, speak to about our faith, introduce to our Christian friends. But the best place to start is by praying for them to be open to Jesus, and for your own witness to them.
3. Deepen relationship at church
Church (as I often say) is not a meeting we attend, but a family we belong to. What could you do this coming year to deepen relationships at church?
Join a Life Group (our small groups)?
Get involved with one of our Sunday Teams (kids, welcome, music etc)?
Have some folk over for dinner?
Simply aim to be at church yourself more regularly?
4. Read a Christian book
If you’re not sure where to start, have a browse on www.tenofthose.com or www.thegoodbookcompany.com. And if you want my top recommendations:
For believers wanting to grow: Enjoying God by Tim Chester
For those with big questions about Christianity, or friends with big questions: Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin
5. Include Jesus in your marriage and family life
Not all of us are married. But for those who are, 2020 would be a great year for you to…
(re) start praying together regularly
Talk together about what God spoke to you about at church this week
Read the Bible and pray each night (or morning!) with your kids
Talk together about who as a family you would like to witness to
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could look back and say “2020… that was the year I really started growing as a Christian, and experiencing deep and lasting joy in the process.”