Three Levels of Christian Growth

In Chapter 38 of A Spirit-Empowered Life, Mike wrote about three types of Christians.MP910221037-300x217

  1. Consumer
  2. Ministry
  3. Missional

The descriptions in the book sounded familiar to me. It reminded me of a passage in 1st John about the levels of Christian maturity. Have you also wondered where you are in your spiritual growth?

I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.

I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

1st John 2: 12-14


They are average Christian who goes to church to get something out of it. Mike compared it to a consumer mentality. I think these are the children that John wrote about.

Their sins have been forgiven and they know God. Church is considered something they should do and a recharge to face the week. We do have to start somewhere. We also need to grow.

Young Men

Those involved in various positions in the church. The author called them the ministry type. They want to show their love for God by helping out.

John says, “they’ve overcome the evil one”; indicating experience. They are strong which tells me they possess great faith. He ends with “the word of God lives in them.” This tells me that they know and apply scripture in their daily lives.


Mike says the smallest minority is missional. They live out the Great Commission. Paul writes in 1st Corinthians 11: 14-17 that he “became your father through the gospel” to those who came to Christ through his teaching. It makes sense to me as an analogy.

What the fathers have that the other two don’t is a deep relationship with Jesus. “You know him who is from the beginning” ties into John 1:1’s “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” They don’t want to just help here or there. At this point in their growth, His priority is their priority.

Of course, this is on a sliding scale. The point is that we are not meant to stay baby Christians. We are to grow, learn to walk, run, and ‘make more Christians’.

Looking at these areas, which do you find yourself in? A kid, young adult, or parent? I’m between a young adult and parent spiritually, though more than a few remind me I still have some kid in me.

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