Listen: Karl Faase chats to Katrina Roe on tips to growing spiritually.
Around this time of year, when life has slowed down a little and work and school routines are on pause, many of us take the chance to refresh our spiritual enthusiasm.
We might visit a new church, listen to a spiritual podcast, watch a motivating preacher on Youtube, or read those Christian books we’ve been putting off all year. But when holidays are over and life returns to normal, will the wave of enthusiasm last?
If you have set a goal to grow spiritually this year, and want to avoid falling into a spiritual rut or ‘dry patch’, there are few key spiritual practices that will help you achieve it.
In a chat with Hope 103.2’s Katrina Roe, Christian pastor and thinker Karl Faase of Olive Tree Media recommended three key ingredients to spiritual growth. And they’re not rocket science; it’s a tried-and-true, back-to-basics formula.
- How to Make Your New Years’ Resolutions and Goals Actually Work – 5 Tips
- Emma Mullings on New Year’s Goals: If You Want Things to be Different, Do Something Different
- New Year’s Resolutions Failed? Try One Word Instead
1 – Spend Time With God and His Word
While Karl joked that his first tip is a ‘really boring’ and predictable, it’s a fundamental one: “Read the Bible and pray”.
“I say this to church leaders all the time,” he said. “Do it regularly. And to do that, find a place, find a time, find a method. If we spend personal time reading God’s word, reflect on what it says and pray about the things that are important in your life, at least a few times a week, that will make a radical difference over time if we’re consistent.”
2 – Worship and Pray With Others
Many Christians lead their spiritual life quietly and in solitude, preferring not to attend church—perhaps because of a disappointment in the past, or simply because they don’t see the need to live their faith publicly.
But Karl says meeting and worshipping with other Christians is a key to spiritual growth. In his view, both church and small accountability groups are helpful.
“I believe Christians, people who follow Jesus, all ought to meet with others who do,” he said. “In other words, make church a part of your life. Some people say ‘I tried church and it was terrible’. Well, try another one! And on a regular basis, meet with other people and make sure you’re stretching yourself in some way.”
3 – Serve God With Your Skills and Gifts
The third way to grow spiritually is to put your faith into action by using your gifts and abilities for God’s work, says Karl.
“Find a place to serve. Use the gifts and skills that God’s given you, to serve the wider community. If we’re doing those things, then growth will be an inevitable outcome.”
You can find a team in your church that needs extra help now that a new year has begun, choose a charity you can support, or simply find practical ways to support friends and family who are in need of extra care.
Let Your Heart Motivate You, Not Guilt
While spiritual growth is a great idea in principle, it won’t happen unless we take practical steps to achieve it.
“If we set a resolution that says ‘I want to grow’, but never put steps in place, there’s a very good chance that not a great deal will happen,” Karl says.
A final word of advice: When setting New Year’s Goals, especially spiritual ones, it’s important not to turn them into legalistic rules that you feel obliged to stick to.
“Use these as motivation, not guilt,” Karl said. “These are not to beat us over the head but to help us track forward, so that at the end of the year we’re deeper, richer more Godly people—because we’ve taken the time to follow through on what we feel we’re called to do.”