There are many things a person can do to grow as a Christian, most are rather straight-forward and common sensical. If nothing else, read your New Testament; every page will give you insight into how it’s done. What doesn’t get as much play are the things you can do to thwart growth into Christ.
Perhaps you can look at these as the weights to be set aside in the race of faith. Stuff that just isn’t helping. Maybe others can do it, and maybe that’s fine, but honestly, if you want to grow, it would help to get rid of these things:
1) The Bubble
Only hang with people who believe exactly what you believe. Leave your church when you realize there is 4% of doctrine you disagree with. Surround yourself with people who agree with you on everything.
After you’ve church-hopped a lot, trying to find the place where the pastor tells you exactly what you want to hear and nothing else (the “itching ears” syndrome), you’ll get tired. Eventually you’ll discover that church doesn’t exist. Give up. Stay home. You know everything already, who needs church anyhow?
One of the most terrifying aspects of “church leadership” is you begin to believe you know what you’re doing. You get a little full of yourself. You answer questions. You solve problems. People look up to you. If you change doctrinally, you’ll let down lots of people. Who knows who will leave the church if you admit your reservations about a doctrine? Better just keep repeating the same old lines. Whenever you’re with other Christians: lead them!
4) Dismissing Growth
Embrace the doctrine that growth isn’t necessary. At least conclude that you don’t have anything to do with your own growth. Let go and let God! Then it’s all His fault!
5) Hero Worship
Find one guy, make him your all in all, and dismiss all others. Amputate your favorite part of the Body of Christ and ignore all the rest. Just keep your nice little fingernail of the Body.
Make sure everything you do is about you. Don’t take any interest in anyone else. Stay distant. Dominate every conversation. Keep your money and build your barns. Tell yourself the poor are only poor because they are all on drugs or drunk. Make sure you accomplish all your goals. Wrap yourself safely in your hobbies. Remember: You’re the center of the universe. No one else matters.
7) Prioritize A Sin
Focus on one huge sin and make all of your faith about not doing that one huge sin. You will either beat it, and thus conclude you have arrived spiritually, or else continue to battle it, ignoring all other aspects of faith.
8) Elevate Experience
Make sure emotions are everything. Expect every church service to lay you low or raise you high. Always go for the chills. Go for the high. Not getting the high? Go somewhere where you get it. Keep looking. Keep searching. Try everything once. Get the feeling, keep the feeling, settle for the feeling.
9) Make it Academic
Study. Work. Read. Take notes. Don’t feel; be cerebral. Learn Hebrew and Greek and judge others faith by how well they know those languages. Get a doctorate or four. Have lots of bookshelves with huge books. Quote dead theologians ad nauseam. Argue about everything. Make sure everyone knows how smart you are.
10) Concentrate on Growth
Be so obsessed with “how you’re doing” that you rarely have time to think about Christ. Beat yourself up for mistakes; brag about successes. Dwell on the past. Remember the times you nailed it; be bitter about those who made you mess up. Stare at your navel. Make it all about your growth.