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The 7 Markers Your Congregation is Growing in Spiritual Maturity

The 7 Markers Your Congregation is Growing in Spiritual Maturity

Organic Disciples is a book by Kevin & Sherry Harney

What is spiritual maturity?

We are God’s ambassadors. His mouthpieces. The presence of Jesus in a world that desperately needs to see the face of the Savior. The truth is, none of us is the example we want to be. All of us fall short in our own strength. But in the infinite power of the Holy Spirit, we can grow to look, speak, think, feel, and live more like Jesus. In a dark world, even a little light shines brightly.

If you think your spiritual maturity rests only on church attendance, biblical knowledge, and the occasional financial offering, there is much to be learned. Maturity is about looking more like Jesus, thinking like the Savior, feeling with his heart, and following his ways. Jesus’ personal mission statement was to seek and save the lost. That’s why he emptied himself and came to this world.

What are the markers of spiritual maturity?

In 2013 a team of leaders from Shoreline Church who minister to children, youth, young adults, couples, men, women, and seniors studied the Scriptures and discussed what biblical indicators help us to see whether a person is growing in faith. We longed to identify behaviors and practices that mark a growing Christian’s life and apply to all ages and walks of life.

We asked, “If we are growing as disciples, what markers should be apparent in our lives?”

With time, we refined our list and began sharing it with leaders around our community, nation, and the world. The response was strong. We landed on seven primary growth markers:

  • Bible Engagement: learning to know, love, and follow the teaching of Scripture
  • Passionate Prayer: increasing our ability to speak to God, listen for God, and seek God with others
  • Wholehearted Worship: developing hearts, lips, and lives that celebrate the glory and goodness of God
  • Humble Service: extending acts of kindness and service in the name of Jesus
  • Joyful Generosity: recognizing that all we have is a gift from God and learning to freely share what we have
  • Consistent Community: loving God’s people and connecting with them regularly
  • Organic Outreach: sharing the good news of Jesus in the flow of normal life

Developing each of these markers launches us forward in spiritual maturity. If we are to be fully engaged in growing to be like Jesus, we need all seven.

A holistic approach

A Recipe, Not a Menu

Restaurants are fun because we can look at the menu and choose what sounds delicious to us. At an Italian eatery, we can dine on spaghetti, ravioli, chicken marsala, seafood pasta, or some other dish that hits what our taste buds are longing for. There is some- thing wonderful about picking what we love and avoiding things we don’t enjoy.

But when it comes to spiritual maturity, God does not give us a menu to pick from. Our Creator wisely gives us a recipe for spiritual development. All seven markers are God’s ingredients for growth. We cannot pick and choose among them.

When we’re given a recipe, the idea is to follow it and include all of the ingredients. If you are making Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies, but you use almonds rather than walnuts, and raisins instead of chocolate chips, you may be baking cookies, but you are not making Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies.

When we are developing each of the seven markers, we move upward toward God, inward toward his family, and outward with the good news of Jesus.

Check Out the Organic Disciples Church Resources


Buy Organic Disciples at ChurchSource
Organic Disciples
Buy Organic Disciples Study Guide at
Organic Disciples Study Guide

Check Out the Organic Disciples Church Resources