Skills Take Practice and Experience
By Rick Warren
— January 1, 2013
“So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God's presence as a mature person in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28 NCV)
The fourth measure of spiritual growth is skill. A skill is an ability to do something with ease and accuracy. You develop a skill not by listening to a lecture but by practice and experience. In the Christian life there are certain skills you must develop in order to mature: Bible study skills, ministry skills, witnessing skills, relational skills, time management skills, and many others.
Skills are the “how tos" of spiritual growth. Knowledge and perspective are concerned with knowing. Conviction and character are concerned with being. Skills are related to doing. We are to be “doers of the word, and not merely hearers” (James 1:22 NASB). Our actions prove we belong to God’s family. Jesus said, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice" (Luke 8:21 NIV).
Many believers are frustrated today because they know what to do but they’ve never been taught how to do it. They hear numerous messages on the importance of studying their Bibles, but no one shows them how to do it.
They are made to feel guilty for a weak prayer life, but no one takes the time to explain how to make a prayer list, how to praise God’s character by using his names, and how to intercede for others.
Exhortation without explanation leads to frustration. Whenever we exhort people to do something, we are responsible to explain exactly how to do it.
If you want your church to produce effective Christians, you must teach the necessary skills for Christian living and ministry. Remember that skill, not dedication, is the key to effectiveness at anything. "If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success" (Ecclesiastes 10:10).
Talk About It
What spiritual growth skills do you need to develop in your life?
In what ways can you help teach spiritual growth skills to those in your small group, church, or another area of influence?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.