All About Spiritual Growth and Maturity
(Avoiding Arrested Development)
And Judging Pastors
Advice from Peter & Paul, and a Parable from Jesus,
All from the New American Bible (Revised Edition)
- I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were unable to take it. Indeed, you are still not able, even now, for you are still of the flesh. While there is jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving in an ordinary human way? Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human? What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth. Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor. – 1 Corinthians 3:2-8
- But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. – 2 Peter 3:18
- Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again – Hebrews 6:1
- As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance. – Luke 8:14-15
- Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, insincerity, envy, and all slander;like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation, for you have tasted that the Lord is good. Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:1-5
- Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, – Colossians 1:9-10
- So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. – Colossians 2:6-7
- Although you should be teachers by this time, you need to have someone teach you again the basic elements of the utterances of God. You need milk, not solid food. Everyone who lives on milk lacks experience of the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil. – Hebrews 5:12-14
- When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. – 1Corinthians 13:11
- For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:5-8
- And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ,from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:11-16
- Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation. – 2 Timothy 2:15
Whadda Ya Think of Your Pastor?
Based on my decades in the Church, that is a common question asked of church members. Based on the above Sacred Scripture quotations, which answer is a good pastor most likely to want to overhear being given to that question?
- Oh, he is just WONderful!
- His homilies are short and sweet!
- He always visits people in the hospital.
- He has a great voice.
- I’ll be glad when he is gone.
- I learn from him and enjoy serving with him.
I’ll go with number 6 on my current pastor.