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Beyond Friends

Friends will take you farther and deeper in your spiritual journey than you could alone.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Living Close". See series.

Introduction

Where are you on your spiritual journey? And what would help you take the next step?

A couple of years ago we joined hundreds of churches across the country and participated in something called the Reveal Survey. The Reveal Survey came out of Willow Creek Church in Chicago, and it was a simple tool that was designed to help congregations assess the spiritual vitality of their congregation and to determine how best to help their folks grow spiritually. And it provided us with a helpful snapshot with the church at large in America and of our own congregation in particular. And there were a few insights I'd like to call to your attention this morning.

One of the discoveries the Reveal Survey made was that there is a predictable pattern of spiritual growth across congregations. Churchgoers tend to fall into one of four segments as they make their way along the spiritual journey.

The first segment of people we might call the "exploring Christianity" segment. These are folks who might say, I believe in God, but I'm not sure about Christ. My faith is not a significant part of my life. So these are folks still early in the journey, just beginning to understand Christianity.

People in the next stage we might call "growing in Christ," and they would be described by this statement: I believe in Jesus and I'm working on what it means to get to know him. So these are folks who have come to faith in Christ and are just beginning to grow in their understanding of him.

A third group of people we might call "close to Christ." These are folks who might say something like, I feel close to Christ and depend on him daily for guidance. So here are people who have a vibrant daily personal relationship with Christ.

And then there's a fourth ...

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Bryan Wilkerson is pastor of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Spiritual friends allow us to be ourselves

II. Spiritual friends talk about difficult issues

III. Friends are attentive and responsive spiritually

Conclusion