June 6, 2020

Maturity is Not Automatic

‘Everyone grows up, but maturity is a choice.’

Kingdom Citizenship, by Kris Brossett, is a unique book. It’s a six-week study to help Christians move towards maturity. It’s a raw, honest walk through the depths of the gospel applied to bring real life change.

Brossett is open up-front as to why he’s written this book and how it should be used. For new Christians, he wants to give a foundational understanding of what it really means to follow Christ. For more seasoned Christians, he has “created a tool to help you share your faith. If you aren’t making disciples, you’re unfaithful.”

Another thing that sets this book apart is the fact that Brossett never intended it to be read quickly, tucked away on your own in the shelter of your room. This book is meant to be read with others, because, as he puts it, “Life change happens with the involvement of other people.” Therefore, Kingdom Citizenship aims to help Christians work towards maturity together.

Uniquely Accessible

Kingdom Citizenship is broken down into short, accessible chunks—five daily readings per week of just three pages each. It can be studied in a group setting or with one other person, enabling more mature Christians to share their personal experience of following Christ with newer Christians. The accessibility of this book makes it a great discipleship tool to be used in the local church.

In weeks one and two, Brossett walks us through the background of sin, showing how it haunts our lives and our world. Brossett spends significant time helping readers understand both the origin and seriousness of sin, explaining the extent to which it has infected us. He doesn’t hold back from helping us understand that we are culpable for the sin in our lives. The questions at the end of each daily reading help nail this home personally and give honest reflections to share with those we’re studying with.

Week three takes us from our brokenness to a detailed study of God’s grace. Brossett’s love for Jesus and his close walk with Him comes across as he pulls us into the gospel of grace. He carefully unpacks how God’s magnificent grace should lead us to repentance and obedience. In week four, he outlines the vital topic of sanctification. As he does this, he never leaves us wondering how God’s Word and the doctrine we learn ought to change our lives, with every reading having clear and practical application.

One of the exceptional focuses of this book is its high view of the church as God’s tool for bringing change. Week five looks at the nature and purpose of the church, and Brossett explains both how to find one and also how we should be involved. Week six finishes the study with a focus on what it looks like to be a people continuing to walk with God, followed by an appendix going into more depth on spiritual disciplines to help us mature in Christ.

Demand Maturity

One of the reasons many Christians struggle to mature in their faith is that our churches struggle with the day-to-day reality of discipleship, focusing on ‘providing services’ and ‘delivering ministries’ instead. Kris takes us back to our biblical responsibility to make disciples, following the famous words of Christ’s command in Matthew 28:18–20.

Simply put, we often settle for far too little in our discipleship of one another. We should demand more of each other, encouraging one another to live out the responsibility God has given us.

Particularly those of us who are more mature Christians—we must heed the call to help younger Christians grow in the faith. It’s wrong to assume that someone else is going to do it. Just because people aren’t like you doesn’t give us a ‘get out’ in our responsibility to commit to their maturity for the long-term. Clearly, any growth in a Christian’s life comes from God’s work through His Spirit, but Jesus has commissioned us with this responsibility to be God’s tools to bring about such change. Kris’ book helps us get back to doing this.

Plan for Maturity

Our struggle with demanding maturity through these deep discipling relationships is that we often don’t actually know how to do it. In a world that needs immediate change to feel successful, we struggle to know what discipleship looks like over the long-haul. What do we study? Should we read or just talk? What should we read? What questions should I ask? What questions shouldn’t I ask? How often should we meet? These are just some of the many questions we have to wrestle with.

Kris has worked hard to give us a plan that can set a model for Christians as to how exactly they can realistically help each other mature in their walk with the Lord. He doesn’t pretend to do it perfectly, or that this is the only way to do it, but he does provide a real, tangible plan to get going with others in this big task. Get the book, read it daily, meet up weekly to talk about it, repeat. Watch each other’s lives for the results God brings. Simple.

Mature Together

One of the best things about this book is that it has helped me change as I’ve studied it. It’s not just a tool for mature Christians to help new Christians grow; it’s a tool to help people know God better, no matter what stage they’re at. It works just as well for people who don’t know Jesus yet as for people who have known Jesus for 30 years. Granted, it will work differently for people at different stages of faith, but it still works. I’m not sure I know of any other books that do this in this way.

It is harder to communicate complex truth clearly and accessibly than it is to write a theological paper on a topic. Kris has a unique ability to communicate deep and profound biblical truth in a way that anyone on the street can understand, while still hitting experienced Christians between the eyes with gospel truth. We’ve seen this to be true with the guys on our estate using it. One of our guys, who is a mature Christian said, “I’ve never read something that communicates the doctrines of sin, justification, and the church so clearly.”

We’re using Kingdom Citizenship as a tool for the task of bringing gospel change in the lives of each other as we grow a new church on our estate. How could you use it in your context?

  • Tom Davenport
    Tom Davenport is the Community Worker at Lansdowne Church in Bournemouth, England, and is preparing to plant a church on the Townsend estate. Tom has recently finished the Church in Hard Places Apprenticeship, an Acts 29 initiative. He is married to Fi and they have four young boys.Read All by Tom Davenport ›

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