Expanding the Path to Spiritual Formation

New Philly Hongdae
Preached by Christian Lee on November 16, 2014, Sunday.
Duration: 75 minutes (audio)


NP Hongdae

 

Discussion Questions

 
Expanding the Path

  1. Have you ever had seasons in your life where your quiet times were not consistent but you still felt like you were spiritually growing?
  2. PC talked about how many Christians assess their spirituality and growth by a short list of spiritual disciplines (i.e. quiet times, fasting, journaling). Although spiritual disciplines are very important, what are the negative effects of such a narrow view of spiritual formation?
  3. What do you think of the following quote?
    “Many approaches to spiritual growth assume that the same methods will produce the same growth in different people – but they don’t… God never grows two people the same way.” -John Ortberg

  4. Ephesians 2:10 says that you are God’s workmanship (NLT: masterpiece), unique and unlike anyone else who has ever lived in history. Appliances get mass-produced, masterpieces get handcrafted. Why would a generic plan of spiritual formation/maturity frustrate some believers?
  5. Read the following together:
    “God has existed from eternity – but he has never had a relationship with you before. He wants to do a new thing with you. The problem many people face when it comes to spiritual growth is that they listen to someone they think of as the expert… talk about what he does, and think that is what they are supposed to do. When it doesn’t work for them… they feel guilty and inadequate; they often give up.” -John Ortberg

  6.  
    Six Questions to Expand Your Path

  7. PC mentioned six questions from Ortberg’s book that can help us expand our view of spiritual formation/growth. The first is to ask yourself: What brings me life? Go around and share what makes you feel fully alive (feel free to include activities that make you feel uncomfortable or scared but also bring you life)?

    “Sustainable spiritual growth happens when I actually want to do what I ought to do. This means I have to change how I think about what “counts” as spiritual, for what makes an activity spiritual is not the activity itself. It is whether or not I do it with and through the Spirit.” -John Ortberg

  8. The second question: What is my temperament? If you know your temperament, go around and share[1].
    1. Sanguine – extrovert, emotionally sensitive, people-oriented
    2. Choleric – extrovert, emotionally even, goal-oriented
    3. Melancholy – introvert, emotionally sensitive, perfectionist
    4. Plegmatic – introvert, emotionally even, peacemaker
  9. The third question: What is my pathway? Author Gary Thomas has come up with nine sacred pathways, ways that naturally help us experience the presence of God. Which two do you identify with the most?
    1. Naturalist – finds God in nature
    2. Ascetic – is drawn to disciplines
    3. Traditionalist – loves historical liturgies
    4. Activist – comes alive pursuing a great cause
    5. Caregiver – meets God in serving
    6. Sensate – senses God through five senses
    7. Enthusiast – loves to grow through people
    8. Contemplative – is drawn to solitary reflection and prayer
    9. Intellectual – loves God by learning
  10. The fourth question: What is my learning style? Which do you identify with the most?
    1. Visual – learn best by seeing
    2. Auditory – by hearing
    3. Tactile – by doing
    4. Oral – by saying
    5. Social – by saying
    6. Social – in groups
    7. Logical – in linear process
    8. Imaginative – through art, story, and image
  11. The fifth question: What is my signature sin? Click here: signature sin profiles. Off the top of your head, which do you identify with the most?
  12. The sixth question: What season am I in? Share with your CG what season you think you are in right now.
  13.  
    Application

  14. Go around and share any application points that you can draw out from this sermon.

 
Homework (optional)

  • Memorize Ephesians 2:10 and Colossians 1:28.

 

Footnotes
  1. – The best resource on the four temperament model is Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. A personality test is included in the book.

Comments

  1. We took our time with the questions to get to know each other better. It was a fun time of laughter, encouragement and building up. We also addressed how spiritual activities you are naturally inclined never replaces the “textbook” spiritual disciplines of reading the Word and prayer. I encouraged everyone at the end to discover what their unique attributes were (e.g. sacred pathways, learning styles) so that they can grow in spirituality, while trying OTHER activities they may not be naturally inclined to so that they can discover dimensions of God they never knew before.

  2. Toko Kim says:

    What makes us feel alive? That is an awesome question P.C explains throughout his sermon with the different activities unique to everyone. Like people in the world having a different fingerprint and having their own secret pathway to spirituality, people also have unique ways to make themselves feel alive. What really stood out for me in P.C’s message was “don’t assess your spiritual life with a short list of should”.

    Really meditating on this, I realized that sometimes I forget that my relationship with God is both ways, but most importantly that he doesn’t judge when I miss a QT or forget a lunch prayer. Definitely there had been times when I’m doing something for God and I am not fully conscious of why I am doing it or the reason why I am doing it is because of habits. An example of this is when I do my QT, most of the times I will do it in the mornings and there have been times when I don’t get a good night sleep or have so much on my mind that I tell myself that I should finish the QT as soon as possible to start my day or sometimes I would literally not even think about the meditation and just read it because I have to or because of habits; and if I don’t do my QT, I feel guilty/less “Christian” and down like a puppy when it trashes his owners house while he was gone and when he comes back, he asks “Did YOU do this!?!?!?!?! @$%^&*#$%

    Something we ought to remember always as Christians is that the spiritual path and God’s plan for us are unique and hand crafted for each one of us and yes we should try to be more like Jesus but we also gotta stay true to ourselves while doing it.

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