We believe that to grow in our relationship with Jesus, we have to be intentional. At VCC, we use a simple tool called The Dischipleship Circle to help us stay intentional about spiritual growth. Here is how The Discipleship Circle is meant to be used:
It reminds us that to grow spiritually we must keep Christ at the center of our lives. The cross in the center reminds us that Jesus isn't just a great teacher to follow, but he is the Savior to be received. We will not be able to grow spiritually if we haven't first received Christ as our Savior and been empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The thin circles surrounding Christ and the cross indicate daily practices that help us keep Christ at the center. Those daily practices are prayer and Bible study.
The thicker outside circle that is divided into five segments represents spiritual disciplines that we should regularly engage in if we desire to grow. They are:
Connect. This reminds us that we should be regularly connecting with God in public worship with other believers. Our Sunday worship services serve an important role in our overall spiritual growth.
Belong. This reminds us that to grow spiritually we need to be committed to a community of believers. We grow best together as we encourage one another toward Christ and spiritual growth. Connect Groups are vitally important to our spiritual health and growth.
Grow. This reminds us that we must be intentional about spiritual growth and that we should give ourselves to times of intensive study and training.
Serve. This reminds us that an important aspect of spiritual growth is getting outside of ourselves and serving others in the name of Christ. Primarily in view here are the specific ministries within VCC where we serve within our local body of believers.
Go. This reminds us that disciples of Jesus are to be about the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). A key component of spiritual growth is reaching outside of ourselves to a hurting world that Jesus loves. Jesus has given his church the ministry of reconciliation, and every Christian is to participate in this ministry.
So how can The Discipleship Circle help your growth?
It serves as a reminder of key practices that must be part of our lives if we want to grow. We should regularly do an inventory of our lives and make sure we're praying and reading the Bible daily, being faithful to weekly public worship, committed to a community of believers, giving ourselves to times of intensive study and training, serving within the church, and reaching beyond the church to a world full of people who need Jesus. If we'll be consistent in these practices, spiritual growth will happen!
Practical recommendations to aid your spiritual growth:
1. Commit to reading one chapter of the Bible each day.
2. Commit to praying 10 minutes each day.
3. Attend public worship every week.
4. Commit to a church and get involved in a small group.
5. Give yourself to times of intentional and intensive study.
6. Commit to regular involvement in the Great Commission.
7. Read great books.