What are the 9 ways?

The9Ways is a spiritual formation path taught by our pastor, Dr. David Artman. They are prayer, study, worship, fellowship, service, giving, showing compassion, sharing your faith, and spiritual honesty. This is not intended to be a complete, fool proof check-list of spiritual practices. Rather they are to serve as a basic approach to the spiritual life for those wondering how to get started.

At First Christian we are not growing spiritually to earn our salvation, or to make God love us. Our goal in spiritual growth is to have a full and robust experience of life in God’s kingdom right now.

Here’s a brief summary of each of the9ways
  1. Prayer – While prayer is sometimes just thought of as asking God repeatedly for what you want, prayer can also be thought of as much more. Prayer can be an attitude in which one cultivates an ongoing sense of God’s presence. Prayer can be a time of reflection and listening. Prayer can be about “being changed” rather than having God change our situation. While prayer is crucial to spiritual growth, its patterns and methods will be distinct for each person.
  2. Study – At First Christian each person accepts the responsibility to form their own best interpretation and understanding of the Christian life. We study the Bible to come to our best understandings as we apply it to our own lives, and not as a weapon to be used in the judging other people’s lives.
  3. Worship – In worship we have the opportunity to set aside the other concerns of life and have time to center on our creator. In worship we are transformed as we open ourselves to the transforming presence of God’s spirit. We follow the pattern of the first Christians who gathered on the first day of the week to break bread, or to “have communion” as we might say today. All people are welcome to join us in the celebration of communion. All we ask is that each person join with us in our affirmation of faith that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God, and we accept him as our Lord and Savior.
  4. Fellowship – We understand that following Jesus means following him into community with other believers. We are to be a support and encouragement to each other. We shouldn’t try to go it on our own. Without the help and fellowship of others we become weak and vulnerable.
  5. Service – To follow Jesus as Lord and Savior is to recognize that at some level we are to be serving him. At First Christian we encourage each person to find their particular way of service in the church. Church is not just a place we “go.” Church is a place where we “do,” where we get involved in some way.
  6. Giving – The purpose for giving is not to raise a church budget. The purpose of giving is to raise the quality of our spiritual life. Jesus taught us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. As we give we become more spiritually invested as we receive the blessings which come from giving.
  7. Sharing Your Faith – One of the ways we grow spiritually is in the sharing of our faith with others. This begins with listening to others first. As they are aware we are interested in their spiritual lives, they may be interested to find out about our own understandings. Each person should find the best way to express the meaning of their faith as they share it with others.
  8. Showing Compassion – Part of spiritual growth is the growth in our ability to feel empathy for other people. The more we feel empathy the more we are motivated to be of practical assistance in some way.
  9. Spiritual Honesty – This is just the determination to speak honestly and truthfully with God and with others about the state of our spiritual condition. We don’t want to sugar coat things with God or with others. One of the ways we grow spiritually is in being able to admit our vulnerabilities and shortcomings.

Got questions? We’re here to help!