Beginning To Explore “Spiritual Maturity” For the Rest of Us

Messing With the Spiritual Growth Model

Recently I saw a video from a men’s ministry group. The leader of the organization talked about making “spiritually mature” disciples. Apparently, he knew what that would look like and how to get men to that point. By engaging in his program, he would help men get there. I applaud his sincere heart. In the South they’d say, “Bless his heart!” Which means, “Nice try, partner.” Yet, this experience has really got me thinking about spiritual maturity. It has sent me on an exploration I’d like to share with you over the next few weeks. 

I feel like David picking up some stones to throw at Goliath. I am a nobody looking to conquer a huge behemoth so advocated by evangelical Christians. The task is way beyond me. However, there is so much confusion and misinformation surrounding “spiritual maturity” that someone needs to take it on. I’m foolish enough to try. 

Everyone believes in spiritual maturity, right? Isn’t that the goal of the Christian life? Don’t we all want to grow spiritually until we reach maturity? Who would question that idea? 

Please bear with me. I’ll be doing lots of thinking out loud. I’ll be challenging some core beliefs. I’ll be messing with a few commonly accepted ideas. I’ll be questioning my own questions. I’ll be attempting to formulate a fuller and more robust “model” for our spiritual lives. I am no expert on these things. I just have a desire to see where the evidence leads. 

My goal is to help you enter more fully into the life God has designed for you. I think that the current model of spiritual maturity may be hindering you from that fuller life. I want to see if that’s true or not. 

You can get in on the exploration by reading these posts, by seeking to understand, by asking questions, and by sharing this information with others. 

Let me begin with two statements that will get you thinking: 

  1. Jesus does not invite you to be spiritually mature. He invites you to be perfect. “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5.48). 
  2. “While most Americans are relatively content with their spirituality ‘as is,’ millions aspire to grow spiritually.” This statement comes from a 2009 report of the Barna Research Group. The full report can be found here. I’ll be referring to it from time to time. 

Thank you for engaging The UnCommon Journey were the approach to the Christian life is real, unconventional, and substantial. Our only goal is your spiritual flourishing. I want you to live life fully in the life of the Trinity. 

Do you have questions about “spiritual maturity?” Send them to me below. Thanks!! 

Dr. K   

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “Beginning To Explore “Spiritual Maturity” For the Rest of Us

  1. In the “real world” I hope that I never completely grow up or mature. It’s not indicative of the “Peter Pan Syndrome” but just the hope that I always have a bit of the enthusiasm and zeal of youth in me.
    In my Christian life I know that I will never achieve “spiritual maturity”. I hope that I will always have the enthusiasm and zeal to continue in my journey and look forward to seeing Him some day.

    • Really good thoughts, Treestand! You’ve hit on something important. Let’s see how your “enthusiasm and zeal” play out as we explore spiritual maturity. Thanks for engaging!! Dr. K

  2. Doesn’t it seem like the experience of sanctification, that which takes place in us, in order that, through the grace of Christ Jesus, we do attain to perfection, is one of pain, and strife, one rife with temptation, in which, if we are so blessed, and Christ seeking, we rely upon Jesus 100% to the point that we can actually do, and feel, what James talks about in James 1:2, counting it all joy when we fall into various trials, that we not only KNOW that this is an opportunity to grow in grace, but become joyful at the opportunity to grow in grace as we are conformed to the image of our risen Saviour!?

    If I got this right… this is hard!

    My flesh does not want to be joyful! I actually have to carry my cross into battle, and drag it to the top of the hill, where in the end, I die. But Christ lives in me and through me, the Holy Spirit empowers me, to continue to live for Christ, being light and salt. This is where I really experience the triune God. Yes, lets be real, we WANT to experience this, but we do not want the work, the struggle, the dying to self.


    • Wow, John. You’ve said a mouthful!! So much good information & counsel here. I’ll just say, “Amen” and leave it alone with the hope that others will read what you’ve written. Thanks for engaging! Keith

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