Life as a Christian is similar to life as a person. We all started out in infancy and the goal is maturity. Someone new in the faith is described in the Bible like an infant. And a mature Christian is described in the Bible like a fruit-bearing plant or tree. How does one start out in faith and grow? And what should characterize the life that is headed toward maturity - living the way God desires? This is what we mean by Living the L.I.F.E. Together. It's a process for the person who has new life in Christ to go from infancy to maturity, seeking to live the way God desires us to live. And all of us are on that journey together - at various stages, at various points in our development as Christ-followers. Church is not just a place, Church is the people of God Living the L.I.F.E. Together.
A spiritual "infant" has particular needs - just like someone who is in the infant stage in life. A baby doesn't know much. A baby is completely dependent. But the process of growing from infancy to maturity involves LEARNING how to eat, LEARNING how to live in relationship in the family, and so much more.
Each Christian should be LEARNING - LEARNING to feed him/herself from God's Word, LEARNING to communicate with God through prayer, and LEARNING healthy behaviors for life as a follower of Jesus.
The goal is answering the question: "What is God saying to me and what am I doing about it?"
There ought to be a visible difference that Christ makes in our lives. It's unbelievable for a person to say they believe in Jesus but won't live like it. Christ makes an IMPACT in us as we grow. We are to grow in Christ-likeness so that we are looking more like Jesus and less like our selves.
God calls us to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And so we seek to experience the life-transforming IMPACT of Christ in every area of our life - not just how we look on the weekend, but absolutely every area of our life in the home, in the community, and in work or play.
The goal is answering the question: "Am I allowing God to IMPACT all areas of my life?"
Jesus calls us to FOLLOW Him. His point is "I must lead and you must FOLLOW". And so we must go where Jesus wants us to go and do what Jesus wants us to do. When we surrender to Jesus, He expects to be our Lord. Someone who has a childish faith will resist this kind of surrender. But someone who is maturing will embrace it.
This is the part of spiritual development where we begin transitioning towards active service to Jesus - knowing His will and seeking to do it. It's less about us and more about Him. And we seek to grow in making Jesus' priorities our own - priorities like prayer, dependence on the Holy Spirit, obedience to a Kingdom agenda, and exalting the Father.
The goal is answering the question: "Am I really FOLLOWING Jesus' lead in my life?"
When Jesus called His disciples, He said, "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men."(Mt.4:19) Our following of Him and our believing in Him is not only for our own benefit, but He expects we mature to the point of ENGAGING others. He expects that we make more and better disciples.
There are many ways to ENGAGE others. We can invite, invest, and be intentional in relational ministry to others. And ENGAGING others is not just inside Church ministry but everywhere we go in our life journey.
The goal is answering the question: "Am I ENGAGING others as I live out the mission of Jesus in my own life journey?"