After I graduated from seminary and started out in ministry as an assistant pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan over 20 years ago, I developed a curriculum based on 2 Peter 1:5-7 that I called “The 7 Habits of a Fruitful Christian.” I later changed the name to “The Seven Habits of a Growing Disciple.” It was based on the 7 qualities that Peter says we are to add to our faith – virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, brotherly kindness, and love.
Over the years I have taught this material in different contexts, and each time I have taught it I have continued to add new ideas and new material. About a year ago I wrote a series of blog posts on it that we published on our OMS Hungary blog. You can read the first one here (to read the rest of the series, you can click “next” on the bottom right of that page).
Last Sunday, I preached in the Nazarene church here in Budapest on this topic, giving a very general overview. At the same time, I am currently writing this material in a book form, and we are hoping to have a spiritual growth retreat based on this material as well.
I am convinced that there is a great need, as well as a great hunger, for a greater emphasis on discipleship in the church. Becoming disciples means to grow in Christlikeness, and that requires that we practice spiritual disciplines. However, in the evangelical church we have not been strong in equipping people to do this. My hope is that we can see people built up in their faith in the coming months through these practices that John Wesley called the “means of grace.”