7 Ways to Grow During This Pandemic
This global pandemic certainly caught us by surprise. You know, there are some things you see coming and you prepare for them. When you’re about to get married, you prepare. When you’re about to graduate, you prepare. When you’re about to have a baby, you prepare. When you’re about to retire, you prepare.
None of us were preparing for a virus that would plague the whole world and completely change our lives. But here it is. Here we are. And life has changed.
You may be laid off or on furlough from work. You may be learning how to home school your kids. You may be at home alone. And you’re probably wondering when all this will end. But the reality is we don’t know. And so we’re left mostly at home wondering what to do with ourselves.
If you’re like me, the temptation is to fill your time with things that aren’t that important. Maybe you’re watching lots of Netflix or Disney Plus. Maybe you’re endlessly scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Maybe YouTube has your attention. Maybe FoxNews or CNN is just always on in the background. While these things can be good gifts in moderation. My guess is our temptation is to through moderation to the wind and mindlessly waste aways the days.
But the call to be a disciple of Jesus has not changed. Our need to grow in Christlikeness will never change. You see, we have a great opportunity to see this season as a blessing. We have the opportunity to humble ourselves under the sovereign goodness of God. And we have the opportunity to grow to be more like Jesus than when this pandemic began.
So how can we do that? What are some practical ways that we use this time to grow as disciples of Jesus? Here are seven:
1. Read Through a Bible Reading Plan
One of the best things you can do for yourself (and others around you) is to read the Bible every day. Studies show that the best way to grow as a disciple of Jesus is to read your Bible every day. And a Bible Reading Plan can help you read every day. Right now our church is reading a different book of the Bible each month. You can find other good plans online. Find a good plan. Stick with it. And watch yourself grow into a fruitful tree planted by the streams of water (Psalm 1:2–3).
2. Pray Daily Through the Lord's Prayer
Praying every day is another great discipline for the Christian. But if you like me, it doesn't come easy. Using the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) is a great way to help you pray. Try praying through in the morning and in the evening. Don't just recite it, but use it as a guide to help you pray.
3. Memorize Scripture
Another great way to grow during this time is to memorize Scripture. I know you probably think that you can't. But you can. And it can be a great blessing to have God's Word stored in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Here is a great article to help you get started memorizing the Word.
4. Listen to Sermons
Got some extra time while at home in the evenings, while cleaning the house, or while mowing the lawn? Use that time to listen to sermons. Online sermons should never be a substitute for being involved in a church, but they can be helpful especially during this season. Listen to series through whole books. Listen to sermons on topics you need to grow in. Having the Word of God in your ears can help it take root in your life. Check out our sermon archives here.
5. Read the Bible with Someone
A great way to grow to start a one-to-one Bible reading group. It's very simple. All you do is read the Bible and meet to talk about it. You don't need to spend lots of time preparing and studying. You just meet to talk about what you've read. Here are some questions that can help you get started (taken from One to One Bible Reading by David Helm).
6. Join a Gospel Group
At Christ Fellowship Church we have Gospel Groups that meet weekly. These groups meet to pray together, confess sins, and encourage one another in the gospel. If you're a member of Christ Fellowship, join one of our groups. If you're not, start your own.
7. Start a Theology Discussion Group
One final way to grow is to get together with others and talk theology. You can meet to talk about theology topics like the Person of Jesus, God's sovereignty, maybe even the End Time. You don't have to be an expert. You don't have to read lots of books. Just get together and talk about the deeper things of God.
This season is certainly not the easiest. It's certainly not what we have chosen for ourselves. But it is a time where we can grow. Let's not waste this pandemic. Let's use this time to press into Christ and grow as his disciples.