The Value of a Spiritual Growth Series (download pdf)
“Preaching is not only explaining the text but also using it to engage the heart.” Timothy Keller
“Out of one hundred men, one will read the Bible, the other ninety-nine will read the Christian.” D. L. Moody
When I think about the value of preaching a spiritual growth series in a church setting, I think about the words of the Master Teacher, Jesus, who instructed his disciples to “...teach them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:19). One of the primary roles of a pastor is that of - teacher. It is also one of the primary roles of a parent. And the spiritual growth series allows the preacher and his ministry teams to effectively partner with parents in teaching their children how to love and obey Jesus.
Teaching is the process of interpreting, illustrating and applying the word of God so that we live as disciples of Jesus. When we properly teach the word of God, with the leading and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it leads people to an encounter with Jesus and changes the way people think and live. When people change the way they think, they can change the way they live. We cannot change people by appealing to their emotions. We can inspire them but not change them. Remember, we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds” not by the stirring of our emotions (Rom 12:2).
Selecting a spiritual growth series is a process of discernment bathed in prayer, and fully dependant upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This brings confidence to the preacher and his ministry teams that the spiritual growth series is what God wants His church to focus on for a season. The series provides the biblical framework for the preacher to receive the rhema word from God, and deliver it to the congregation each Sunday. Clear direction establishes human expectation for supernatural revelation.
The spiritual growth series allows the preacher and ministry teams to plan forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. This makes the Sunday worship experience more powerful, as servants come prayed-up and prepared to give their best. From children, all the way through to seniors, the congregation is focused around a common theme during the series. This also empowers spiritual conversations and Bible study that takes place during the week in homes, workplaces, schools, small groups and prayer meetings.
The spiritual growth series reinforces a counter-cultural message, that I belong to a WE and life is not just about ME. These series are reminders that God has “a people” as his most prized possession, and not just a gathering of individual consumer Christians looking for the church that offers the best religious services and products in town.
Spiritual growth series give people a specific theme or topic to look forward to on their discipleship journey. Knowing the series in advance allows people to come ready for the preaching of God’s word each Sunday. It also provides a practical way for people to invite their unsaved friends and family members to an upcoming series, knowing about the series in advance. This helps prepare God’s people for ministry in the world.
The spiritual growth series is also a practical way to keep us united together as we become the church in our neighbourhoods and cities. As we move “beyond the walls” and become the church where we live, it will be these spiritual growth series that keep us connected and growing together. Those who participate on this spiritual growth journey, will, over time, reap the fruit of the Spirit being cultivated in biblical community. The result of this consistent spiritual practice of preaching in series, will be a more mature, loving, Christ-like, Spirit-formed, gospel community on a mission to love.