Apostolic Perspectives #2 - What Does Maturity Look Like
"that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting..." Ephesians 4:14
"...Let us move on to maturity..." Hebrews 6:1
Dear members of KFIC,
I want to continue on from our last post. As I write this, I cannot find more accurate statements than the scriptures above to communicate my desire for the KFIC Community. In the next five to seven years, KFIC will progressively step into a greater dimension of its destiny. The single most important quality that God is calling for at this time is maturity.
The central thought in the above passages is that Christians are to move on to maturity.
To be sure, maturity is a process. In order to identify what maturity looks like, we must identify the standard for maturity. In Ephesians 4:13 Paul points to Christ as the standard of maturity for all believers.
Identifiable Signs of Immaturity
Maturity in Christ will boost our spiritual immune systems against things like childish behaviour, instability and deception. ( Eph. 4:14). God is calling us to move away from these three indicators of immaturity as follows:
There is nothing wrong with childish behavior if you are a child. I believe that children should be celebrated when they come into a home or into the Body of Christ. The problem arises when, after a reasonable time, the child shows no sign of growth or development toward age-appropriate behaviour. This is a sign that the child is in some kind of trouble or distress. This is the concern that Paul expressed in the above text and is the concern of all true apostles to the Church of Jesus Christ.
The Greek word that describes this “child” stage is napios. It is a very vulnerable stage in a child's development. Without proper guidance a young Christian can quickly succumb to instability followed by deception.
Doctrine is like food. In our Caribbean context, it is sometimes considered cute to put a dumpling in a child's mouth but right thinking parents are horrified by the thought. Sometimes the food needs further breaking down or it is simply not appropriate for the child's development. We must also remember that it is not always bad food that makes one sick but the combination of foods that one may eat.
Jesus, taking a parental position with his disciples, warned them not to eat what some teachers of his day were serving. ( Matt.16:5-12). If Jesus could express such concerns over the impact of certain types of teachings on his own disciples, then I think it is wise for every senior leader and their leadership team to monitor what the members of their community are being exposed to and to decide whether or not it is healthy.
This is why it is so important that members of KFIC participate in our Wednesday evening interactive bible study; our Friday evening one-hour prayer time and our Sunday Morning Family Worship. These times must be built into the lifestyle activities of all KFIC members and given priority.
Let me summarize by saying that maturity is measured primarily by behaviour not knowledge. Over the next season of time, we will be challenging KFIC members to take a more disciplined approach to being involved in the building up of the community.
And most of all, we will be reminding ourselves about what God wants from us in this season of time.
God bless you as you prayerfully consider these things.