Jesus said "Follow Me" This is what we are called to do...
The Ministry Blog of Pastor Jack Maddox, Southside Baptist Church, Henderson Texas
Why Spiritual Maturity is just not important...It is essential!
August 11, 2018
I just completed a short series on Spiritual Maturity in the church that I pastor. I felt moved to preach this short series right in the middle of preaching through the gospel of Mark. It is not unusual for me to take a short break when preaching through a long book of the bible but the difference here is that I had only been in Mark for about six weeks (Chapter 3) Why did I make this decision? Our congregation has come through a time in her life of transition and struggle. We are on the most part a healthy and somewhat happy group. Our attendance is good, and our finances are stellar, our doctrine sound and our ministry is very active. We have, however, struggled with some issues of unity and "getting along" If you are a member of Southside I hope this does not shock you or you think I am too heavy-handed in saying this, it is the truth, and I would well imagine you realize it. This does not make us a bad church or a hopeless cause by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it makes us pretty normal. We are human, we struggle, we get tired, and sometimes we misunderstand one another, and we do not treat each other well. We are a family and families are not perfect. It was after a somewhat confusing and awkward members meeting, and after a couple of days of hearing brothers and sisters point fingers and place blame on the other over the events of the meeting, that I felt it prudent to go to scripture in the area of Spiritual Maturity. I must say that I cannot think of a series that I have preached at this church or any church for that matter that has been as well received and fruitful to our people. I have had many, many people come to me and say "pastor, we needed to hear this word" I am grateful to God for the leading of the Holy Spirit and His applying the Word into the life of this preacher and the lives of our people!
The purpose of this article is not to rehash the issues of Spiritual Maturity. You can go to our website and listen to the messages to do that. I merely want to make a few points to the truth that it is essential that our churches walk in maturity. Here are some reasons I believe we should do so.
1) It is ESSENTIAL to the unity of the church.
Children and young people by their very nature fuss. It is not unusual to see small children divide over minor issues. As we mature in our faith and in our walk with the Lord, we find unity in the things that matter. We recognize that our mission and our ministry are too essential to hinder over issues that at the end of the day do not matter. I did not say they are not important, but they lack eternal significance. Spiritual maturity allows us to know the difference.
2) It is ESSENTIAL to the work of evangelism and missions.
The mission of the church is to take the gospel to the world. Spiritual maturity allows us to understand this and to accurately position ourselves in such a way to accomplish the task! Spiritually mature believers are outwardly focused and not inwardly obsessed. When we are more concerned with those issues that affect "US" instead of issues that move us to reach "OTHERS" it is a sure sign of immaturity.
When we are more concerned with those issues that
affect "US" instead of issues that move us to reach "OTHERS"
it is a sure sign of immaturity.
3) It is ESSENTIAL to our understanding of theology and doctrine.
As followers of Jesus, we need to know what we "know"! We are called to grow in grace and a deeper understanding of the Word and a better implementation of these truths in our walk. Mature believers are believers that GROW. Spiritual maturity is necessary so that we can grow...yet it is also essential so that those who mature can teach and disciple those who are not.
4) It is ESSENTIAL to our assurance of salvation.
One of the true signs of regeneration and salvation is when we Grow. Growth is the natural result of birth. When we have experienced the new birth, we will begin to grow. When there is no growth, then one needs to contemplate if there has been the new birth. When we are growing and maturing, we can be assured it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
When we have experienced the new birth, we will begin to grow.
When there is no growth, then one needs to contemplate
if there has been the new birth.
Finaly, it might be said it is ESSENTIAL to the well being of our leaders. When a church is growing spiritually and moving towards maturity then there is within the leadership of the church a confidence to lead, preach, teach and initiate those things which will lead to Great Commision fulfillment. Leaders will not be burdened with the endless task of 'refereeing' and 'conflict resolution.' They can focus on leading their church family to bring great glory to God because of the single focus of the congregation that stems from spiritual maturity. There will be less burnout and stress in the lives of leaders who are leading spiritually mature congregations.
Now understand...not everyone in every church is "spiritually mature." In fact, it would not be helpful if they were. There should be new life! There should spiritual nurseries filled with spiritual babies who have recently been "Born Again." However, there is a process, and there are procedures that move the immature to maturity.
I am excited about the growth I am seeing at the church that I pastor. My prayer is that I also will grow, and mature, and move towards the prize of the high call of Jesus Christ!
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine
of Christ and go on to maturity,...
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