Intentional faith development expresses the idea that growing in faith is not something that happens by accident. Instead, we need to be purposeful about growing our faith and we need to give it a high priority, developing some of the habits and practices that will help us on the path to Christian maturity.
One of the best ways to develop our faith is in community. This is the model which we see in the early church, and also in the early days of Methodism.
In community we can support one another, inspire one another and hold one another accountable. This is why Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs, and why in his letter to the Ephesians Paul’s instructions for how to live out the Christian faith are set in the context of communal living.
Churches which practice Intentional Faith Development are therefore communities of learning which provide a variety of ways for people grow in faith and to become more like Christ.
In your own journey of faith, how do you cultivate your relationship with Christ? What do you do to develop your faith?
Today Schnase offers us this prayer and challenge:
Help me Lord to delight in your Word,
so that like a tree planted by a stream of water,
my life may bear your fruit.
Challenge: Look at your church’s newsletter, magazine, or website. Count the different activities and groups which help cultivate faith. Pray for these activities.