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Stage 1 - Meeting God

 

This is the time of our life when we first realize that there is a God, and that He knows us. This may be at the time of our conversion, or as we grow older in the faith. As we come into contact with God, everything changes, so stage 1 is a time of transition, some uncertainty, but also joy and awe and a growing sense of peace.


Stage 2 - Joining God's Family

 

Now we know God, we interact with Him, but we relate to God primarily through a person or a ministry. We are dependent on a church or a preacher or a curriculum to maintain a connection to God. This is normal and natural, but somewhat risky. If the church or the person falters in any way, our relationship with God is threatened. Most of the time, however, we are growing in the knowledge and love of God through teaching, preaching and fellowship.


Stage 3 - Participating with God's Family


As we’ve grown in our love for God through a particular ministry, we reach the point where we want to get involved. We have a love and a passion for the activities of our community and we want to contribute. Most church ministries are geared for stages 2 and 3, caring for people and encouraging them in service.


Stage 4 - Season of Doubt and Frustration

 

This is a period of questioning, a time of doubt where some of our deepest convictions are called into question. This stage may be sparked by a crisis or tragedy, by a moral failure by a spiritual leader, a conflict in a church. It may even begin within our own hearts, where we wonder if the Bible is true or if Jesus really is who He says He is. This stage is scary, and people tend to leave this stage in three different ways: 1)Some try to forget the doubts and questions and just go back to an earlier stage, returning to a point where they are too busy to think about these tough questions; 2) Some leave the journey altogether, deciding that everything they once knew to be true was just a lie; 3) Some move through the doubts until they arrive at stage 5. This arrival requires us to completely surrender ourselves to the will of God. We die to ourselves. This transition often happens over a long period of time, where piece by piece we come apart until we have become nothing so that God can become everything. The transition from stage 4 to stage 5 is entitled “The Wall.” To move through the Wall, we die.

To support you through this difficult season, you are encouraged to explore the following resources:

Tools and Assessments

Books

Activities/Pratice (from The Critical Journey)

Faith Journey Questionnaire

The Bible & Resources 

Let go of spiritual ego(self-centeredness)

 

The Critical Journey - Hagberg/Guelich

Accept God's purpose for your life

 

With - Jethani

Seek wholeness thorugh personal healing and pilgrimage

 

 

Be willing to commit to hwatever it takes

 

 

Find peace through giving up search for self

 

 

Allow for new certainty in God

 

 

Be open to the cost of boedience

 


 

The Wall - Surrendering

 

Here we are required to surrender, telling God that He can do whatever He wants with whatever part of our life that He wishes, in order to completely put our trust only in God.

To support you through the difficulty of letting go, explore the following resources:

Tools and Assessments

Books

Activities/Pratice (from The Critical Journey)

Faith Journey Questionnaire

The Bible & Resources

"We sit in awe of the process of surrendering but as we emerge we are able to move along on our journeys with much less clarity about the direction and much more assurance of not having to be in charge of our lives."

 

The Critical Journey - Hagberg/Guelich

Accept God's purpose for your life

 

With Open Hands - Nouwen

 

 


 

Stage 5 - Learning That God's Love Is Worth Any Loss

 

Having completely surrendered to the will of God, our spiritual life is now less focused on a person or a ministry and is now more focused on our own interaction with God. We are still part of a community, we still participate in the ministry, but we have found that our roles and activities have become less important compared to our relationship with God. We are still a little shaky in stage 5. We may slip back into earlier stages. We may experience some anxiety as we interact with people who exist in earlier stages, who may not understand our experience, but we’re growing more comfortable with our relationship with God.

Tools and Assessments

Books

Activities/Pratice (from The Critical Journey)

Faith Journey Questionnaire

The Bible & Resources

No striving, just growing deeper

 

The Critical Journey - Hagberg/Guelich

Seeing God in all of life

 

Abide In Christ - Murray

Being God's person

 

Devotional Classics

"Vocation" is satisfying

 

 

Being whole seems enough

 


 

Stage 6 - Living Completely Dependent on God's Love

 

At this stage, we’ve lost any anxiety we might have had in stage 5. We’re comfortable with our interaction with God, even if others can’t understand our experience. We serve God alongside our brothers and sisters, but our spiritual health is rooted only in God, who is always faithful. Increasingly every member of our church experiencing a growing awareness of God’s faithful love right up until the time when they experience His love completely.

Tools and Assessments

Books

Activities/Pratice (from The Critical Journey)

Faith Journey Questionnaire

The Bible & Resources

Christ-like living in total obedience to God

 

The Critical Journey - Hagberg/Guelich

Wisdom gained from life's struggles

 

With Christ In The School Of Prayer - Murray

Compassionate living for others

 

The Art of Neighboring - Pathak, Runyon

Detachment from things and stress

 

 

Life abandoned for God

 


 

Worship Services