Admittedly, this is a bit of a redundant question. Of course the right answer to the question is, “yes, I want to grow this year!” Yet conditions for growth require more than a willingness on our part – even if that willingness is full of passion. Perhaps this is why growth is often difficult to see, even though most of us readily admit we want it.
God is creative. Ever since he spoke the world into being and ever since he bent down and formed the first humans out of the dirt and breathed into them, he has been creating. Astronomers understand that the universe is continuously expanding outward – as if the life-giving power of God’s words “Let there be…” haven’t stopped forming. Creation is ongoing, generating new expanses of space, but also newness in us, should we choose to allow it. For followers of Jesus, this creative energy is moulding us into being more like him – restoring our image of God-ness. This is a deep and beautiful task and it is the setting, the backdrop, and the reason we engage in the Outer Circle process each year.
Imagine, getting together regularly with 2 or 3 other people and sharing three areas of growth God has invited you into for the year. Imagine being honest about your strengths and allowing God to fill you with his laughter and delight. Picture yourself being prayed for as you posture yourself in deliberate and intentional ways to be formed into Jesus’ likeness. What growth might be visible in a year from now if you stuck with it? What might you see formed in those 2 or 3 friends? What if you tracked your friend’s journeys in specific ways? What might the Holy Spirit do in you and in them if given the chance?
Do you really want to grow this year? You might want to consider forming a Triad and being part of the Outer Circle process for 2017. Our first gathering is on Saturday, January 14, 5:30pm – 8pm.
By then you should have identified your 3 areas of strength (Grace received) and 3 areas of growth for the coming year (Grace needed) and have made a plan. If this doesn’t make sense to you, read more here.
For more detailed explanation of the Outer Circle process go here.