Tools For Spiritual Growth

Tools For Spiritual Growth – What are they?

Spiritual Growth is not optional, rather it is a necessity for every believer. God’s desire for us is that we grow to maturity in all dimensions; spirit, soul, and body. A lot of Christians define spiritual maturity as the level of one’s biblical literacy. Sufficient knowledge of the Word of God does not mean you are mature spiritually. Maturity is birthed from intimacy with the Holy Spirit; a deep and personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. We must daily desire intimacy with the Holy Spirit in order to keep growing spiritually so that we can reflect the true image of Christ. 

Essential Tools for Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth is the most important dimension of growth when it comes to the triune nature of man. This is because man can only relate to God and access His blessings through the spirit. There are several vital tools for spiritual growth. They are:

Studying the Word:

The Word of God is a catalyst for Christian growth. The more we feed on it, the more we will grow. Whether you are a new believer or one who has been on the narrow road for quite some time, feeding your spirit man is something you must never neglect. In a world as busy as ours, it is so easy to totally neglect study of the Word or stick to once a day rush routine without really spending time with the Holy Spirit. The same Word that brought us to life ought to sustain us every day.

In 1st Peter 2:2, Peter writes, “Like newborn babies, you should crave [thirst for, earnestly desire] the pure [unadulterated] spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto completed salvation. Here, Peter tells us that in order to become spiritually mature, we have to study the Word, craving for it more than anything else. The comparison between the babies’ milk and the spiritual milk shows how indispensable the Word of God is. It is the spiritual milk of every believer. No matter how busy we are, we cannot afford to be careless with the study of the Word. We must prioritize the Word over everything else because it is our treasure. The Holy Spirit who dwells in us is always available to teach us. We on the other hand, have to show up for classes so we can grow.

Meditating on the Word

Another tool for spiritual growth is keeping your mind stayed on God. Study and meditation go hand in hand. You can spend all day meditating on a part of the scriptures you studied earlier. It is possible to do this and still go about your daily activities. Worry is a form of meditation, you know. You can spend time thinking on God’s Word rather than worrying [Phil 4:8]. The Holy Spirit leads you deeper into comforting truths that you were not aware of while you meditate. Do this daily!

Develop a Bible Study Plan:

It is important that you do not depend so much on devotionals that you’d rather stick to a routine bible study life than let the Holy Spirit lead you. Devotionals are good especially for new believers who are still trying to find their feet. However, they only provide us with more excuses for not digging deeper. Have a study plan aside from your devotional study routine. Bible study guides, commentaries, concordance and online materials are additional materials that spice up your study time.

Prayer:

Prayer is our lifeline to God. We may have over-familiarized ourselves with prayer yet it can become a whole new experience for you. We should let the Holy Spirit brooding over our prayer life. Daily prayer is not going to cut it this time. You have to pray without ceasing; staying in constant communion with God even while going about your daily activities.

Evangelism:

As alien as this may sound, speaking to someone about Christ helps you grow. It teaches you complete dependence on the Holy Spirit, trusting Him to fill your mouth with words. You will also learn to walk with boldness and confidence. Family, friends, fellow workmates… are all people that God has brought into our lives; most of which need to hear the gospel. It is our duty to lead them to the knowledge of Jesus.

Finally…

Spiritual growth is a daily pursuit, not something we do when we feel like it. I know it can be tough trying to pull through amidst our busy schedule. However, remember the words of Jesus; Where your heart is, there your treasure lies. These tools for Spiritual growth are great treasures that should not be neglected. We must hold on to them, that we may all be complete and proficiently equipped in every aspect of this life and the one hereafter.

Eternity is not just the goal. Growing to maturity in a love relationship with the Holy Spirit and living purposefully, is God’s desire for us as well.

Pastor’s Wife Appreciation

Pastor’s Wife Appreciation – What Is It? 

Although the pastor’s wife does not do the work of a pastor, she has a complimentary vital role to play in the ministry as well. Your pastor and his wife, are a team yoked together by God to care for His flock. He is the face of the ministry, the voice of guidance to the congregation, the spiritual leader of a parish amongst other roles. His wife is the quiet, stalwart supporter and a helper. Her role in the ministry enables her husband to be the best Pastor he can be to his flock. As a church, you can appreciate how much she has imparted in your lives. This is why I believe it is important for every church to have a pastor’s wife appreciation day, week or month. 

Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Ideas.

For a time, as important as your pastor’s wife appreciation, choosing an ideal way to express your gratitude to her can be tough. The first thing you should have in mind is this: Your pastor’s wife is just as human and as feminine as any other female created by God. She has emotions, a unique personality and needs as well. Your gift should be something that speaks to her personally and her status as the mother of the church. If you are unsure of what to get for her, talk to her friends, family or even her husband. Their ideas will help you get an idea of what she loves or her needs at the moment

Some great gift ideas for your pastor’s wife appreciation are:

Paid Tickets to Women’s Conference or Retreat:

Amongst the options of gifts for female pastors, this is a very thoughtful one. Attending a women’s conference or spiritual retreat may be out of her budget or the church’s. You can take up the expenses as a gift to her. 

Poetry & Short Notes on a Crystal or Wooden Plaque:

 This is a heartfelt and very sincere way of expressing gratitude to the ministry of your pastor’s wife. Words go a long way in the heart of a woman. Writing these words on paper or in text message, are not just ideal options. You can carve them on a wooden plaque. Capturing them in an elegant optical crystal is an option most preferred.

Offer to do something nice and personal for her.

You can offer to babysit, allowing her to have a date-night with her husband. You can do some of these as well:

  • Giving her a spa treatment
  • Free hair, manicure, and pedicure treatment
  • Taking her out to lunch and spending some time with her.
  • Organizing meals for a week for her just to give her a break.
Help make holidays special for her family.

Holidays are consumed with church services and all kinds of programs. This gives your pastor and his family little or no time to spend time together. Your assistant pastor can take charge of activities for the holiday. Doing this will allow your pastor take time off with his wife and children. You can;

  • Ask her for a list and purchase everything she needs for the children’s Easter baskets or Christmas stockings.
  • Offer to wrap her gifts or decorate her tree.
Love Gifts:

Your gift should be a sincere expression of love, not just a cheap token. Bear in mind that your pastor’s wife has sacrificed a lot of time and effort on the church’s behalf. Some great ideas include:

  • Purchasing clothes, shoes, bags or whatever you think she needs.
  • Your church can contribute towards purchasing her a car or giving her old car a new look.
  • You can find out what household appliances she may need and purchase it.
Know this…

Little acts of love count. Respect her as the mother of the ministry, do not neglect to appreciate her efforts as often as you can. Pastor’s wives can be very lonely people and they may be struggling with a things that the church and her husband do not know about. Be her friend by standing in the gap for her in the place of prayer.

Finally…

Honouring your pastor’s wife is biblical. Do not just make your pastor’s wife appreciation a one-day thing. Appreciate her every other day of the year as well. God put her in that place of authority for a purpose. Without her, your pastor wouldn’t have an appropriate support system. Be a blessing to her.

Galatians 6:6 The Message (MSG)

Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. 

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Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual Maturity – Definition

As co-laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, one important question we must ask ourselves daily as we advance in the Christian race is this: “Are we progressing spiritually as individuals and as the body of Christ or are we comfortable with status quo?”

Spiritual Maturity is that stage in the life of a believer where our lives reflect the true image of Christ; ‘fruit of the Spirit’. It is not attained when we merely confess Jesus as Lord over our lives. This is rather a deliberate process of growth that begins when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and continues as we submit daily to the Holy Spirit. This kind of maturity must be a priority for us and not just an after-thought. In a world where we are hit with ungodliness and profanity everywhere we turn, it is important that we seek earnestly to grow in our spiritual life; otherwise, we risk falling back into sin.

Spiritual Maturity – Importance

Growing spiritually is the most important dimension for growth when it comes to the triune nature of man; spirit, soul, and body. Physical and Intellectual growth is important to the wellbeing of man. This is because your essence is your spirit, which should not be neglected.

Another reason is that we worship God in Spirit. We ought to be willing to truly give up ourselves [offering our desires, possessions… as a living sacrifice] and follow Him. Ignoring this will not only displease God but may also cause others to turn away from God. Apostle Paul understood the need for this kind of maturity. In his letters, he took time explaining its importance and how to grow. His letters showed that spiritual maturity is a continuous process of growth; pressing on against all odds even in times when you do not feel like doing so. We grow to a point where our feelings do not matter more than honoring God.

The Holy Spirit dwells in us, yearning to teach us and direct us everyday. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us walk in the Truth of God’s Word so that we may be true examples of Christ. You on the other hand, have to reach out and lay hold of this treasure by yourself, exhibiting it in your actions even as the He works within you.

Growing into Spiritual Maturity

The evidence of spiritual maturity shows forth in the way we live and relate with people. The fruit of the Spirit, Love is such an easy word to say yet it is rare to find in the life of Believers. We have been given a command to love those who are around us, strangers or not. How can we say we love a God that we do not see when we are unable to love the ones around us? To love is a command. I know it is not an easy thing to do as I have at some point in my life struggled with loving people especially when it came to the area of helping strangers. This is why the Holy Spirit is there to train us and teach us how to love. Love ought to be the foundation of everything we do. Christ set the pace by dying for us as an act of love.

Attaining such height of spiritual maturity requires a lot of discipline. We have to learn to be obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit at all times whether the situation feels deserving or not. The tools which will help us grow spiritually are:

Studying the Word:

Paul advised us strongly not to neglect this Word of Truth. We ought to study to show ourselves approved, workmen rightly dividing the Word of Truth. You cannot grow if we do not study.

Meditating on the Word:

For Spiritual maturity, you need to be able to dwell in the presence of the Lord in spite of your busy schedule. In the place of meditation, the Holy Spirit leads you deeper into comforting truths that you were unaware of. Spend time daily doing this. Instead of thinking about all the negatives in our lives, choose to meditate on the Word of God [Phil 4:8].

Prayer:

Prayer is something that we have over-familiarized ourselves with and taken for granted. It can become a whole new experience for you when you let the Holy Spirit brood over your prayer life. Once a day prayer is not going to cut it this time. You have to pray without ceasing; staying in constant communion with God even while going about your daily activities.

Fasting

Fasting is also another way of disciplining yourself spiritually. It could be a social media fast, Tv fast, the regular food abstinence fast we are used to or any other form of fasting.

Every one of these tools are important and must not be neglected. The process is not an easy one but we must every day yield ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will lead us to attain greater heights of spiritual maturity beyond imagination.

In conclusion, it is worthy to note that Spiritual Maturity is not in the excellence of our speech nor our knowledge of God’s Word. It is not in the number of hours we spend praying and fasting but in the life we live every day.

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Gifts For Female Pastors

Everyone loves to be appreciated. That sure includes your pastor. Depending on when your pastors’ appreciation Sunday comes up, I believe that it is a great idea for you as a church to take some day or month of the year to do something special in appreciation of their gifts for female pastorspastors for their constant attention, concern, invaluable effort, time and love. Most churches feel clueless when they contemplate ways to show how appreciation to their cherished female pastors. There is no perfect gift or single choice that covers all other choices. In fact, there are different ways of ministering when it comes to picking out gifts for female pastors.

Some heart-warming of gifts for female pastors are listed below. Take your time and choose one best suited to your pastor’s needs, as you are led.

Examples of Gifts for Female Pastors

Paying attention to their needs

Going out of your way to meet those needs is one of the best appreciation gifts you can ever give to your female pastor. There has to be something that she must have talked about wanting to do or purchase all year but hasn’t done yet. Be observant and attentive. It could be a vacation or a project she started and abandoned halfway due to her schedule. If it is a vacation, paying for her trip and accommodation as well is a great idea of saying thank you. Whatever it may be, subtly try to find out what she desires and take a moment to be a blessing to her.

Prayers and Love:

It is not easy to be a leader especially being the pastor of a local church. Your prayer and love are the greatest gifts you can give your pastor. She needs them more than any material gift you can give her. Treat her well, as you would any other leader. Be supportive and respect the anointing upon her. Try to help out in ways you can. If you can, give her cards expressing how much of a blessing she has been in your life. You could also add short prayers. Your pastor is not a mind reader, try to be open about your feelings whenever you feel hurt. Remember that she may not always perfect but she will always be the pastor. Treat her the way you’d want to be treated if the tables are turned.

Paid Tickets to Women’s Conference or Retreat:

Amongst the options of gifts for female pastors, this is a very thoughtful one. Attending a women’s conference or spiritual retreat may be out of her budget or the church’s. You can take up the expenses on her behalf. This will give her the opportunity have her mind renewed and be blessed.

Video Testimonials:

You can have members of the church take turns in talking about how much of a blessing she has been. You could also create a presentation of photos and video of your pastor in action during the past year. Set it to music and play it as a preservice video. The videos should be recorded and taken weeks in advance so that it can be compiled and tested before the day of giving.

Do a surprise Office Makeover.

You can consider fresh paint, updated décor, new furniture and even a computer or technology upgrade. In addition, frame a picture of her and the church members as a love token. There’s an option of hiring an artist to draw a portrait of her so you can hang in her office during the surprise decoration.

Bible studies or Books by Christian Women Authors.

Yes! She needs it. It will help in her study life, growing to be a better pastor. You can find out from her secretary, family or friends, who her favorite authors are. Putting together a book basket filled with the latest books from her favorite authors and helpful Bible commentaries is sure to bless her. You could go the extra mile and buy her a Kindle with an Amazon gift card to choose her own.

Worship CD/DVD.

Try to find out her favorite songs, artist or genre of music and make a collection of them either in the CD/DVD format. You can get the latest from iTunes on an iPod. She would definitely appreciate the gesture. Adding some nice ear buds and/or a wireless speaker is very welcome.

Love Gifts:

Your love gift should be a sincere expression of love, not a cheap token. Remember, that your pastor and her family has sacrificed a lot of time and effort on the church’s behalf. Purchasing clothes, shoes, bags or whatever you think she needs is a great idea! Getting the church to contribute towards purchasing her a car or giving her old car a new look, is very thoughtful too. You could find out what household appliances she may need and purchase one for her. 

Contact your local newspaper.

They may be interested in running an article on your pastor in the religious section if she has served in the community for a long time. This would be a special way of honoring her dedication and faithfulness. A few members should also talk about who the pastor is to them and how much she has impacted in your lives.

Memory photo books of the church history and church events.

Use someone in your church to scan and organize old church photos into folders on the church computer. Download them onto a website that makes photo books. Written testimonials of her achievements as a pastor can be included as well. If you make a copy for your church’s archive, get a copy for the pastor. 

Whatever way you choose to appreciate your pastor, whatever gift for female pastors you choose to go with, be sure to do the best and give your best. Honoring your pastor is biblical. Do not just make it a one-day thing. Appreciate her every other day of the year as well. The little things count.

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