The Crossing Blog

Thoughts from the Crossing Team

4 Practices to Take Your Faith to the Next Level

4 Practices to Take Your Faith to the Next LevelHave you ever wondered how you can take your faith to the next level? Have you ever felt like your walk with God is growing stagnate? I've been there, too. And I have to admit: whenever I feel that way, I'm lacking on one of these practices that I'll outline below.

Our walk with God is organic and relational, however, just like any other relationship, it needs to be given consistent, purposeful attention. These practices aren't ground breaking, but they make all the difference. They're effective, vital, and foundational. Let's dive into 4 practices to take your faith to the next level.

1. Serve on a Ministry Team

How many times have you heard someone express the desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves? I hear it all the time. It's a deep desire that we all have. And there's no better place to see that desire satisfied than in the Church.

If you can discover your personality, gifts, passions, and calling, and then line them up to use them to serve God in His Church, you'll immediately begin to discover a deep sense of joy. For those who completed the ALL IN experience this past spring, the discovered all these things. When asked what their favorite part of the experience was, by far their responses were related to discovering how God has wired them.

So before you get signed up for any ministry team, ask yourself: what am I good at, what am I passionate about, and what would fit the way I'm wired? Then get signed up in the area you see being the best fit.

When you begin to serve on a ministry team, you'll realize that God has wired you with a deep desire to be a part of something big so that you can find that desire satisfied in HIS Church.

2. Join a Community Group

Did you know that community is an implied expectation throughout the New Testament? In other words, for us to be in real community with others is central to our lives as Christians. It's so central that the command to "one another" others is given 47 times to Christians throughout the New Testament. See below.

Infographic: all the one another commands in the New Testament

If you're not yet part of a community group, but you'd like to learn more, then go here.

3. Engage in Spiritual Disciplines

What are spiritual disciplines? 

Spiritual disciplines are things like:

  • Reading the Bible
  • Praying
  • Fasting
  • Solitude
  • Service
  • Worship
  • Confession
That's not a complete list, but it's a good place to start.

Here's a good place to start: Begin reading the Bible daily (5-10 minutes) and praying daily (2-5 minutes). Then as you get the hang of the consistency of those two, begin venturing out into trying other things.

To learn more about spiritual disciplines, see this list with definitions

4. Begin Practicing Scalable, Progressive Generosity

If you're like many people, you probably feel like you have no room in your budget to give - you're barely paying your bills as it is. I get that. I felt the same way when I began learning about biblical generosity. But what I discovered is that if I make a plan to start where I can and then progress to more and more, it can be done.

The tithe is taught throughout Scripture as the starting point of biblical generosity. A tithe is literally "a tenth" which would be 10% of your income. If that is overwhelming, then start where you can and make a plan to increase it.

This is an important passage to keep in mind when it comes to giving:

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

"Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed."

Do you see it? "God loves a cheerful giver!" So what this tells me is that as God conforms your heart to His desires and as your trust in Him grows and as you begin to follow His teachings on your personal finances, you'll begin to cheerfully give of what He has given to you.

This past Sunday's message on Talents was a perfect example of taking what God has given to you and using it wisely. 

Did you know that the act of tithing (giving a tenth of your income back to God) is the only area where God has told us to challenge Him in? Check this out:

Malachi 3:10

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

That's a pretty cool promise that comes with that, isn't it?

But let's say you're still not cheerful about a tithe... Here's a challenge - just start somewhere. Then as you get used to giving something, you'll be able to scale that up as you progressively approach a tithe and beyond. 

If you'd like to give to the mission and vision of God's Church here at The Crossing, you can do so by going here.

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