Your Faith Journey
As you read through the following "stops" identified as a result of George Barna's research, where do you find yourself?
Take a few minutes to study the diagram above. Please know, this is not my original content, and has been adapted from George Barna’s book, Maximum Faith. Barna spent some time researching and asking folks about their journey with faith, as it relates to Christianity. He discovered many make the following ten stops throughout their life. However, many journeys were not linear, and many not exempt from “spaghetti” diagramming. Meaning, some individuals often found themselves on one spot, only to return to it again, due to a variety of circumstances.
Let’s take some time becoming familiar with the stops…
Do not know Christ – individuals have not intellectual knowledge of who Jesus Christ is. Ignorance of the concept or existence of sin.
Know about Christ – individuals have heard about Him, although have never gone beyond that. This may be due to lack of exposure, or lack of desire. Aware of and indifferent to sin.
I desire a Savior – individuals who have heard about Jesus, have become uneasy with the idea of sin, and are seeking to know Him as Savior. Concerned about the implications of personal sin.
He is my Savior – individuals who have heard of Jesus, grown uncomfortable with reality of sinful nature, desire to be redeemed and have asked Jesus to be Savior. Confess sins and ask Jesus Christ to be their Savior.
Jesus is Savior + I serve in the church/other capacity – individuals who have asked Jesus to be their Savior and now find themselves serving a ministry, church, denomination, etc. In some cases, individuals may not serve in the church, but continue to serve a life centered on their intellect, dreams, goals, and ideas. Commitment to faith activities. 24% ~ 20%
Jesus is Savior + I serve, but sense there’s more – individuals who have been saved and are serving, perhaps for a while, but sense there’s more to their walk with Christ. There could be an unsettled feeling or thought of “is this all there is?” For folks who still living according to their aspirations, they may too begin to feel a discontentment about the need for more. Experience a prolonged period of spiritual discontent.
Jesus is Savior, but I am/feel broken – individuals who have been redeemed by Jesus, have been serving and organization or self-derived dreams and ambition, but are experiencing circumstances leading them to brokenness. True brokenness comes from an understanding there is a need to be broken from sin, self and society, in order to have a rich and deep connection to Christ, with the Holy Spirit leading. Experiencing personal brokenness.
I'm in need of healing & Jesus to be Lord – individual who sees the need for Jesus to not only be the Savior of their life, but the Lord of their life as well. This individual sees where serving causes, churches or self has not been producing a rich, deep connection with God. A connection where the leading of His Holy Spirit is prominent. Here, individuals see where their body, thoughts, and feelings are not in full submission to the leading of the Holy Christ, as Jesus Christ’s was. Choosing to surrender and submit fully to God: radical dependence.
I have a great love for Jesus as Savior AND Lord – individuals who have pressed into being broken in spirit, soul or body, and allowed Jesus to bring healing in those areas. Not only has healing been allowed, but a deep love for Jesus has grown, resulting in a heartfelt devotion to following Him wherever He may lead. Enjoying a profound intimacy with and love for God.
My great love for Jesus as Lord & Savior causes me to love others – individuals who have experienced healing and developed a heartfelt devotion, who now see the Lord’s desire for us to be sanctified and transformed in order to reflect Him to others in the way we love them. Our service and activities emanate from a place of love towards God and towards those He leads us to love and serve. Experiencing a profound compassion and love for humanity.
After studying the faith journey and learning a bit more about each stop on the suggested journey from Barna, spend time praying or contemplating if you agree with the initial response provided during sign up. If you do, make note of it. If you don’t, make note of that as well. Capture why you feel either way.
When we know where we are, we are better positioned to view our lives as a transformative process we can trust the Lord and His grace with. We are also better situated to identify where we need to go next, and implement the tools and support necessary to do so. Which is exactly what we will be doing with all the information we’ve been processing the past week. We will be identifying the stop we currently are on, with regard to the proposed faith journey to becoming whole. Then we will identify where we find ourselves within that stop as it relates to our connection to God, nutrition, fitness and relationships – since we know the Lord desires we be wholly sanctified in spirit, soul and body. Then we are ready to do some deep work and focus our efforts for the ten weeks ahead.