the #1 way to grow spiritually.
There are lots of practices that help us grow spiritually:
Gathering regularly to worship God with other Christ followers
Spending time alone with God in prayer and conversation
Serving the poor, serving your family, serving the person next to you
Interacting with other Christ-followers, discussing what God is teaching you
Discovering the ways God has gifted us and using those gifts to build his "kingdom"
The list could go on ...
All of these are essential. And all of them help us grow in different ways, in different seasons of our spiritual lives. But you want to know what the #1 thing that you could do to help you grow spiritually is?
Open up your Bible and read it. For yourself. Regularly. You ... reading the Bible.
And we're not just saying that. It's been proven. A group of churches have been doing a nation-wide survey over the past few years. 100s and 100s of churches, 10s of 1000s of Christians — brand new to the journey, well into the journey, seasons veterans in the journey — across the spectrum. And one of the things they did was rate the impact of various spiritual practices on their own experience of growth.
It turns out that at different seasons of our lives, different practices impact us differently. They're all important. All good. But here's the crazy thing: One of these practices rose to the top of the list in every season of spiritual growth! One practice helped the spiritually searching become solid followers of Christ, helped new followers of Christ find their spiritual legs and begin walking strong, helped growing Christians become mature, helped mature Christians stay vital and thrive -- one practice: Reading the Bible.
So here's what we suggest you do.
Wait for it ...
Read your Bible. Find a version of the Bible that's easy for you to understand (we'll be happy to give you a free Bible this weekend at TerraNova -- just grab one of our information table). Open it up. And begin reading.
"But where?" you ask. "Where do I begin?" Great question. Below are a few different reading plans for you.
5 Reading Plans to Get You Started:
1) The first is a great place to get started if you're new to the spiritual journey. It's just 33 days and it takes you through the story of Jesus as told by one of his closest followers, "John." Click here to download it and get started.
2) The second is something we call "The 40 Day Reading Challenge." We put together some book marks that take you through a few really basic parts of the Bible in 40-day chunks. Check that out here.
3) We've put together a full-color overview of the Bible in 10 chapters. It's called "EPIC." Each chapter includes a brief description of that section of the Bible along with 5 readings (as some "further readings" if you want to go deeper). Download the free EPIC e-book here and get the whole story of the Bible in 10 weeks.
4) OR, you can go even deeper into the whole story of the Bible (but not every verse in the Bible). 50 weeks, 5 days a week (so you can catch up if you get behind!), one section of scripture per day. This allows you to reflect more deeply on what you're reading. Click here to download it and get started.
5) The final option takes you through the entire Bible (every verse) in a year. It's a 365 day reading plan from the "One Year Bible" folks. Click here to download it and get started.
But whatever you do, open up your Bible today and read it for a few minutes. We're praying that as you do, you'll meet the Author, and God will connect with you in a very personal way -- the way you most need Him to connect with you today.
Now ... ready for a little assistance on HOW to read the Bible? Click here.