Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Andy Stanley on Spiritual Growth

Below are the notes from this morning's Drive-In Conference session led by Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA (suburb of Atlanta). Most of the notes were provided by the conference, some of the notes are my own. This was a great session, with a bunch of great reminders. I don't know that Andy covered a lot of new territory, but he definately challenged me to spend more time thinking on a lot of these things. Plus, Andy Stanley could read the phone book out loud and I'd probably listen, he's that good.

Drive-In Conference – Session 4
“Programming for Spiritual Growth”

1. Your discipleship model is perfectly designed to produce the results you are getting.
2. Developing a relevant discipleship model begins with embracing an accurate understanding of spiritual maturity.

I. A spiritually mature person is one who lives as if God is who He says He is and will do all He has promised to do.
A. A spiritually mature person is one who has big faith. Matt 8/Mark 7/Luke 6
B. Spiritual development is faith development.
Question: What fuels the development of faith? What are the ingredients that when stirred together, result in greater confidence in the person and promises of God?

Practical Teaching
Providential Relationships
Private Disciplines
Personal Ministry
Pivotal Circumstances

II. Five things God uses to grow our faith.

A. Practical Teaching
-people talk about the first time they experienced practical teaching
1. Faith Factor: When my obedience intersects with God’s faithfulness, my faith grows.
-the first time you tried to do something the Bible said to do, and you saw God bless it, you
said wow, God is working and it added to your faith.
2. This is why…
• We create sermon series around felt needs.
• We end every message with a specific application, and at times, homework.
• We have identified a handful of key principles for each
age group that we come back to over and over.
-what do children need to know and do, middle schoolers, high school, married couples etc.
3. Questions:
• Do people know what to do with what you have taught?
-we don’t want people to just know things, need to act
• Is your content helpful or just true?

B. Providential Relationships
1. Faith Factor: When we see God’s faithfulness in someone else’s life, it is easier to trust Him with ours.
2. We have all seen what happens to people’s faith when they get disconnected from the community of faith.
-this causes their faith to shrink
-you can’t force or manufacture a providential relationship
3. This is why…
• We keep children and students with the same small group
leader for several years.
-Not a big deal for real young kids, but really important starting in middle school
• Our adult small groups are closed and stay together for up
to two years.
• We don’t assign adults to a small group.
4. Questions
• Does your ministry strategy make it easy for people to connect relationally?
-sitting in a row listening to a message does not connect people relationally
• Does your programming conflict with the development of relationships?
• Where does community happen?

C. Private Disciplines
1. Faith Factor: When God speaks to us through His word or answers a specific prayer, or blesses our generosity, our faith is strengthened.
2. This is why…
•We give children an application card each week.
-what they can do on their own to develop a personal devotional life
•Students do a study every year that emphasizes the importance of personal devotions.
•We pass out memory verse cards that coincide with our sermon series.
•Our Starting Point material teaches participants how to read the Bible.
-teach people on how to read the Bible for themselves
3. Questions
•Where do you teach people how to read the Bible?
•When are children and students taught the value of spiritual disciplines?
•How is this value reinforced in your system?
-is the development of spiritual disciplines built into the rhythm of your church?

D. Personal Ministry
1. Faith Factor: Serving others forces us to be consciously dependent on God, and thus our faith is strengthened.
2. This is why…
•We encourage participation on a Strategic Service Team.
-This isn’t just about serving other people, but includes God working in your heart too
•We provide dozens of short-term missions opportunities.
•We give students an opportunity to volunteer on Sunday mornings through Student Impact.
•We opt not to host adult small groups on campus on Sunday mornings.
•We allow unbelievers to serve.
-not in all ministries, but having places for them to plug in where they can experience life
change in the midst of Christians
3. Questions
•Is it easy for members, non-members, and non-believers to serve in your organization?
•What could you do to make it easier and more rewarding?
•Do your teaching environments compete with your service environments?

E. Pivotal Circumstances
1. Faith Factor: Pivotal circumstances test, and therefore strengthen, our confidence in God.
-can I trust God in this difficult time? In this transition? Etc.
2. Jesus sent his disciples into difficult circumstances to develop their faith.
-Lazarus’ death taught the disciples about faith in God.
3. This is why…
•We show baptism videos in the worship service.
•We provide mentoring for engaged couples.
•Our community groups are closed and stay together for up to two years.
•We keep children and students with the same small group leader for several years.
4. Questions
•Where do you celebrate stories of faith?
-overcoming obstacles, where God is working
•Are your people connected relationally in such a way as to insure that someone will be there for them when life becomes less predictable?
•Where do people go who need someone to help them navigate a crisis?

1 comment:

Rob Shepherd said...

This was awesome! Thanks so much!