by Rick Warren — December 10, 2021
From God’s Vision for the Rest of Your Life
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
But here’s the catch: You can’t do it on your own. Babies don’t just grow up on their own. They need a family of some kind. And you need a spiritual family, just like you needed someone to help you grow up when you were young physically.
The Bible says, “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT).
My job as a pastor is to make sure the people in my church grow. It’s the job of all of our pastors, leaders, Bible study teachers, and small group leaders. In fact, the Bible says this about such people: “Their purpose is to prepare God’s people to serve and to build up the body of Christ . . . until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard” (Ephesians 4:12-13 GW). At Saddleback Church, we are always asking, “How can we help them grow, Lord?”
The Bible has a word for this kind of growth. It’s called discipleship. Discipleship is the process of growth from a spiritual baby to a spiritual adult. It means you’re maturing in your faith. You’re getting stronger. You’re developing some muscle.
So how can you grow as a disciple?
The Bible says in Acts 2 how people grew in the first church: “Those who believed . . . were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer” (Acts 2:41-42 NLT).
That chapter later goes on to say, “They worshipped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness” (Acts 2:46 TLB).
First, you believe. Then you get baptized. And it’s important that you choose a church family and participate in large group worship and small group fellowship.
Learn from your leaders in the church. Learn from your peers. Commit to growing spiritually as a disciple and a member of the body of Christ.