I love to hear new ideas, to gather new information and to listen to (and write) new talks. It's easy to believe that new information is the key to spiritual growth. Sometimes it is (especially if you are new in your relationship with Christ). But other times, maybe it isn't.
What if they key to spiritual growth isn't constantly learning new information but applying what I already know? Here's what I believe: it's application, not information, that bring about transformation. That's why our style of teaching at Connexus is not to throw a thousand points of new information at you each Sunday, but to focus the message around a single point. A single point that we hope will not just bring new information, but bring about transformation through application.
Example: I'm loving the Hijacked series we're in right now. Like most preachers, I spend a lot of time preparing for Sunday. But what's owning me right now is not the preparation or delivery…it's the homework. Every week we try to have what we call a “to do” in the message. Something that people can walk away with and try at home.
In part one of Hijacked, the ‘to do' was to stop blaming others (and God) for your situation and start confessing your sin. Nehemiah spent three hours confessing his sins, the people's sins and the sins of his ancestors. You can read it yourself (and here's the message). Over the past week, I've spent some extra time last week confessing my sin and seeking God. It's incredible – I feel like he's moving some spiritual boulders in my life.
At the end of the day, it's not what you hear, not what you learn, not even what you like – it's what you apply that makes the difference.
How about you? How are you learning to apply messages?