Raising a Baby
Our youngest child, a boy, was born hungry. Night feedings continued until he was old enough to eat solid food. When he sat in his high chair, impatient for each bite of cereal, he devoured food and spoon with a loud mmmmm.
As he grew, my son devoured books and adventure. His curiosity to know how things worked sometimes worked against him. But, that child never slowed his pace. He wanted to know more.
Over the years, he taught himself to fix cars and write apps and create mathematic formulas.
Growth and curiosity are hardwired into children. After raising three adventurous humans, I’m convinced that learning is a natural hunger. I mean the continual thirst to know more, go farther, expand the boundaries they see or feel.
Spiritually speaking, we begin as infants in Jesus. From there, we grow propelled by a hunger to know God. The natural progression of spiritual maturity follows a path much like a baby growing into an adult, even if it requires less time.
Moving from Infant to Adult
Christopher Adsit’s book, Personal Disciplemaking, offers a personal and organic approach to leading a Christian from new birth to maturity. For instance, he describes the stages of a growing Christian’s understanding of the Bible–
- Baby Level: Begins to read the Bible on a regular basis. Develops and understanding that the Bible is the authority for her life.
- Child Level: Talks openly about what she is learning as she reads and studies the Bible on a daily basis. Depends on others to teach her the Bible, too.
- Adolescent Level: Gaining depth in her understanding of the Bible and shares with others through discipling, a small group, a Sunday class, or one-on-one conversations.
- Adult Level: Has developed a consistent lifetime habit of reading, studying, applying, and obeying the Bible’s teaching and shares that life habit with others in various ways. Isn’t dependent on Bible teachers or sermons for spiritual growth.
*I have summarized and simplified Adsit’s ideas.
Over time, we move from dependent on others for our learning and growth to independent learners, hungry for more. Finally, we move from learner to teacher–even as we continue to learn, able to sustain our own spiritual growth.
Our growth should transform our churches from nurseries where people file in and expect to be spoon-fed once a week into training centers where disciples demand more training–training about how to study the Bible, how to know God more intimately, or how to minister to other people.Our growth should transform our churches from nurseries where people file in and expect to be spoon-fed once a week into training centers where disciples demand more training–training about how to study the Bible, how to know God more… Click To Tweet
My son will graduate from college next year. At this point in his life, he makes his own meals and life decisions.
Spiritual infants should experience the same growth into adulthood over time. A worldwide mission depends on it.
Stay Rooted in Jesus
I’ve written two 30-day, devotional-style books, Led and Surrendered. Each of the short readings unpacks a central teaching of Jesus to help readers grow closer to Him. You can find them here.