As Christians we are called to grow in our faith. In this series of posts we looked at how we can use goals to help us move forward in our faith journey. We also looked at the role of Scripture reading and how it should shape us. In this post we are looking at ownership which is not so much a practice but an attitude and approach.
Principle 3: Real spiritual growth comes when we have a sense of ownership towards our faith.
When we lived in Birmingham, we rented a wonderful house from a very gracious friend. One of the things that was wonderful was that if something broke, we didn’t have to pay to fix it. Then we moved to Hendersonville and bought a house. Now all of a sudden it was up to me to take care of things. If the roof leaked, it was my problem. If the grass needed to be mowed, it was my job. It didn’t take long to understand that there is a huge difference between renting a house and buying a house.
There is also a huge difference between renting a faith and owning one’s faith. Renting a faith means that we let everyone else do the work. We show up at church, listen, and do churchy things, but we never take the time to invest in our spiritual journey. The problem with this is that the Christian faith is not a passive faith. You cannot inherit it or borrow it.
If we want to truly grow in our faith, we cannot leave it up to other people to make that happen. One of my biggest pet peeves in ministry is when someone tells me that something we are doing is not deep enough for them. First, it assumes that I am working to meet their needs and not the others who are just starting out on the journey of faith. Second, why am I the only one responsible for your growth? Go read a book, ask for resources, or listen to sermons online. In a world where churches tend to act as if growth can only happen within the church walls we do people a disservice when we lead them to believe that growth only comes through church programs or activities. The church needs to be a part of that process, but only a part.
What does owning your faith look like? It means knowing why you do what you do. It means that you pursue growth and develop an awareness of what helps you grow. If you grow through service, pursue those opportunities. If you grow through worship, sing often. How will you develop a sense of ownership over your faith?