Continued from previous posts: There are several ways you might get stuck in stage two and fail to move on. First, you might become zealous about doctrine. It's interesting and fun to learn about Christian theology. It can also give you a sense of power. If you understand, say, the Reformed Tradition better than others, or if you learn exegetical Bible study methods, or study New Testament Greek, you can feel like you've got the upper hand in doctrinal debates. Your knowledge can become a source of pride and a tool you can use to prove others wrong and give yourself a sense of superiority. Alternatively, you might feel you never can know enough; driven by perfectionism you may find yourself always learning and never doing much with what you know.

Second, you might come to the place where you love your small group or circle of friends so much that that warmth becomes not only a source of comfort, but a way to exclude others and keep yourself from growth. Most of us don't like change and so, once we know what we think we need to know and have Christian friends we enjoy, we simply stop growing. But Christian growth requires discomfort. In order to grow you need to do something with what you believe in order to let the Holy Spirit teach you more. In order to grow, you need to step out of your comfortable circle and serve among others and find the Holy Spirit growing you through challenging experiences and relationships.

If you do, you will move into stage three: "Service and Leadership," and this will open up to you a whole new experience in your spiritual journey into the fullness of Jesus Christ.

To be continued . . .