A Bible, a Small Group, and Serving Someone Else Will Solve 90% of Your Problems
(excerpt from Chapter 1, “Identity: Settling Who I Am and What My Life Is About” The Christian Man [Zondervan, May 2019])
The twenty-four men who identified the issues that matter most picked spiritual growth as their #1 issue. How does spiritual growth happen?
Most of our growth happens by exercising spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are simply the regular habits of men (and women too, of course, but this is a men’s blog!) who are growing, want to grow, or want to want to grow. In my book A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines, I explained how God reveals himself in four types of spiritual disciplines:
- his works (in creation, or “general” revelation)
- his Word (in Scripture, or “special” revelation)
- the “whisper” of the Holy Spirit (prayer, worship, Sabbath, fellowship, counsel, fasting, and spiritual warfare)
- the witness of believers (stewardship, service, and evangelism)
There are other kinds of spiritual disciplines too, like meditation, sacrifice, and many more. Basically, any regular practice that draws you to abide in Christ and him in you, love others as Christ loves you, or bear much fruit is a disciple-making discipline worth your consideration.
However, because I’ve been helping men “grow” for a long time, I have a suggestion. One of the questions on my weekly Bible study preparation worksheet is, “What one idea, if fully understood and truly believed, could change everything?”
When it comes to spiritual growth, I would condense all the years I’ve spent teaching into this one idea:
A Bible, a small group, and serving someone else will solve 90 percent of your problems.
We’ll go deeper in the book, but after decades of working with men, if I am sure of anything, it’s that if a man can get these three disciplines right—plus pray with and for his wife if married (but that’s the next chapter!)—everything else will fall into place.