Spiritual Growth Comes From Community

My spiritual growth over the last 18 years is mostly due to the accountability I have had in the local church rather than my own personal drive to grow.

Left to my own drive and motivation I would have sidelined my Bible study for a better time later in the day, or I would have sat out whole semesters of women’s ministry because it wasn’t a good season, or I would have stayed home from church because I just wasn’t up to it.  But the Lord placed me in positions where people were counting on me.  People expected me to show up. 

 

Something has dawned on me in the last couple weeks.  And honestly, this realization could be perceived in two ways: a gift or an embarrassment.  Here it is: my spiritual growth over the last 18 years is mostly due to the accountability I have had in the local church rather than my own personal drive to grow.

Being involved in various church activities year after year has been a gift because it has spurred me on.  It’s also a bit of an embarrassment because, truthfully, I would not have grown at the same rate, left to my own motivation.

Mark and I married over 18 years ago and we have been in ministry together ever since.  Because of our role in our local church we didn’t have a choice but to stay plugged in, consistently preparing for the next thing.  We always knew people were going to show up and we needed to be ready.

Left to my own drive and motivation I would have sidelined my Bible study for a better time later in the day, or I would have sat out whole semesters of women’s ministry because it wasn’t a good season, or I would have stayed home from church because I just wasn’t up to it.  But the Lord placed me in positions where people were counting on me.  People expected me to show up.

Looking back, I can honestly say, it was the local church that drove my spiritual growth.  If people had not been relying on me, I would have taken a much slower pace, I would not have pursued my studies with such diligence.  Really, the accountability of the body of Christ is what kept me on track all those years and it still is.

Before we found our place in our current local church I felt the insecurity of not being tethered to a local body of believers.  I personally felt the draw of placing church on the buffet of just one of the many things our family could do in our free time.  Participating in ministry is actually a gift to me and to my family, as it grounds us in a local community and in our own personal spiritual disciplines.  We thrive best when others are counting on us.

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