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Are You Still Growing As A Christian?

by Bob Russell

Bob Russell1Written on October 16, 2016

I’m scheduled to do an interview with a national publisher in a couple of weeks.  He sent several questions in advance so I could give more thoughtful answers.  The very first question is, “Who are you learning from these days?”

My first reaction was, “Hey, I’m now 73 years old!  I shouldn’t be asked that kind of question.”  I had expected him to ask, “Who are you mentoring?”  Or, what lessons do you want to teach younger preachers?”  Not, “Who are you learning from?”

But the more I thought about that question the better I liked it.  No matter how old or experienced we are, we should still be learning and growing as Christians.  I tell young preachers they should have a goal of being a better preacher at fifty than they were at thirty-five.  They should even try to be a better preacher at sixty-five than they were at fifty.  You are either growing or you’re dying!

Even though I’m 73 I’m learning from Ben Merold, a 90 year-old preacher, who shares the teaching responsibilities at my monthly retreats.  Ben is teaching me about aging with grace and finishing strong.  I’m learning from Dr. Matthew Sleeth, author of the book 24/6, who is teaching me about the need for taking a Sabbath and the proper stewardship of earth.  Hopefully, I’m still growing as a Christian and as a leader.

Listen to what Simon Peter wrote about the necessity of continued growth in the Christian faith.  “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

The next paragraph reads, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8),  The challenge is to keep growing so that we can keep on being productive in our service for Christ…regardless of age.

What about you?  Who are you learning from these days?  What exactly are they teaching you?  What are your goals as a follower of Christ for the next five years?  Are you adding to your faith?  How can you be more effective in God’s service?

Don’t allow yourself to slip into the common practice of becoming a crotchety old fogey who does nothing but complain about personal health issues or the dramatic changes in technology that threaten your security.  Make up your mind to keep adding to your faith and to continue learning from others so that you make a positive contribution to God’s kingdom until the day you die.

A vibrant, elderly woman was involved in an animated conversation with several young women after church.  The younger ladies burst into laughter at something humorous the older woman had said.  Afterward someone remarked, “Madge, You are absolutely beautiful!”  The elderly believer immediately quipped, “Well, I should be!  I’m 84 years old!”

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.  Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-16).


Bob Russell is Retired Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13