Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Where Is Your Faith?

Kia Ora from Melbourne...
We've had 2 evening meetings and a full day of meetings. As always when you put yourself in this kind of enviroment... it is very challenging!

I wanted to say a very big thank-you to everyone who has been reading this Blog and espesially to you legends who are leaving comments.
May we sharpen one another!

I wanted to share on a passing comment that Danny Googs made about the 7 Stages of Faith that we as Christians move through:

  1. Comfort
  2. Connected
  3. Cause
  4. Committed
  5. Crisis
  6. Character
  7. Continue

Basically the idea is that when we come to church we are comforted and then connected into the church family. We then begin to pick up the Cause of Christ which leads to us being commited to Christ's cause. Then crisis comes which when navigated well leads to us developing character. Once we establish character we form the grit to continue on in the faith.

Danny suggested that too many people in the church get stuck at the first 2 levels... and this is why the church is the way it is.

What are your your thoughts on these 7 levels of Faith and where do you see yourself fitting in on the levels of faith?

Here's another question... what does it mean to pick-up the cause of Christ?

As always I look forward to your comments!!!

4 comments:

Jeremy Sargent said...

Hey Clive
I left a comment yesterday but did not appear -not sure why
Good word I like it -i persoanally feel if we get people coming into the community of faith if we are not helping them move past the first two levels of faith within the first 6-12 months of them being there-its a lot harder for them after that as people will quickly settle back into the status quo or whatever rut they were in.
Young people soooo need to have a cause worth giving there whole life for. A purpose. And this iss the greatest cause of all. I believe it is not a dream or a vision that will take hold of peoples hearts but a cause and this is the greatest cause of all - the pearl of great price - the kingdom of God

Come back with a sun tan
Blessings Jeremy

James said...

My initial thought is that it seems like many of these often turn into cycles, especially when one of more step is missing...

eg.
Comfort -> Connected -> Cause -> Crisis -> Comfort ...

or

Comfort -> Connected -> Cause -> Committed -> Crisis -> Character -> Crisis -> Character -> Crisis ...

I even think some people (maybe including myself) get to 'continue' but tend to stop there. They don't have the same level of cause and commitment as they once did. They are just continuing to plod along doing what they have always done...

I like the fact that he calls these stages not 'levels'. A stage is something that you can enter many times, a level means you have to have slipped backwards to be somewhere again.

I wonder if when we stop moving through stages that is when we start to stagnate?

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

Trials = Crisis
Mature and Complete = Character

(I think that is a good scripture to back up at least 2 of Danny's stages, I also just happen to love that passage :)

I'm also thinking of those people who get to crisis and start to fall away, it seems like we need to all the more focus on comfort and connection for those people. Take then back through the stages again hoping that the next time will go somewhat better. I have a couple of friends who fell at the crisis last time but I sense are starting to get to the connected stage once again. It has taken years but I feel like there is a least some progress!

- James

I hope you are enjoying Australia!

Kev said...

I reackon, there has to be some sort of iteration within this framework of thinking, man the number of times we face multiple crises, which develop our Character, which help us to continue, there's is no once off relief for us :)

Regarding the cause question:

My first thought is - what is the cause? If we ain't got this question hammered we could be carrying around the wrong thing.

Clive Smit said...

The Cause is the key I believe...
Surely its the cause that carries us through our trials.

Answering what that cause is, now that for me is where the $ lies...

Our cause is Christ! Our Cause is to make Him famous in our global village.

To commit to anything else... well people let you down, organisations fail to meet your expectations...
Its the cause of Christ that keeps our eyes on Him and not on ourselves!