The Power of a Spiritual Training Partner

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Have you ever made the decision to lose weight or start exercising (or any number of other things) only to find that you really couldn't do it alone?

The benefit of a training partner or participating in a weight-watchers group is unquestioned. Yet, when it comes to spiritual next steps, most of us attempt to make changes without the benefit of a partner for accountability and encouragement. Why? There are several very understandable reasons:

  1. We're private people and uncomfortable sharing what's really going on in our lives.
  2. We're afraid to be the first to ask for help. Very much like Junior High one wants to go first.
  3. Even when we know we need help, most of us are great procrastinators.

Can I make a suggestion? Isn't it time to take a first step? Aren't you really ready to put your toe in the water? If you're ready, let me give you a simple way to begin:

  1. Test drive the idea of a spiritual training partner with a limited first step. The next time your small group meets try pairing up at the end of the session to share prayer requests and pray together. Guys with guys and gals with gals.  Nothing permanent, just for the session.
  2. The next time your group meets, look over the study ahead of time and decide which of the questions lend themselves to "sub-dividing." Rather than doing every question as a large group together, sub-dividing into groups of 2 to 4 allows your members to participate more fully. Have them stay together to share prayer requests and pray.
  3. Print off copies of the Spiritual Health Assessment and ask your members to complete it. Then, take advantage of the growing familiarity your group has with sub-dividing to ask them to pair up with someone (guys with guys, gals with gals) and have them share their results. A next great step is to have your members use the results from the assessment and create a Spiritual Health Plan

The spiritual discipline of accountability is an essential ingredient in the life-change process. Few of us really have the capacity to change on our own. Why not take advantage of these steps to move in this direction?

Image by U.S. Naval Forces Central Command

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  1. […] Ask your members to pair up or get in groups of three. I’ve written much more about this idea in The Power of a Spiritual Training Partner. […]

  2. Dan on May 5, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I was looking for the Craig Groeschel’s spiritual growth questions’ list you mentioned. The link did not lead me there. Dan

  3. markchowell on May 5, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Looks like the spiritual growth questions have been moved. Sorry Dan! I don’t know where to find them.

  4. Dan on May 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks for taking time to check. I’m working with some friends to start some d-groups this summer and we are searching for good questions along that line. Really looking forward to seeing what God will do! Have a blessed week.

  5. Alvi Radjagukguk on October 28, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I can’t open the Spiritual Health Assessment & Health Plan files. Can you help? If sending an email will be easier, it’s Much thanks Mark!

  6. markchowell on October 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Check it out now Alvi. Our friends over at Saddleback move it from time to time.