January 22, 2023
spiritual growth

Plan for Spiritual Growth

I have two grandsons 10 weeks apart in age. These cousins constantly measure themselves against each other. They both want to be the tallest, but of course they have no control over their height. 

Thankfully, spiritual growth is not like physical growth. We do have some control over our maturity. Although only the Holy Spirit can bring spiritual transformation, He won’t do it without our obedient cooperation. 

Spiritual Growth 3This time of year is perfect for evaluation and goal setting. Think this sounds too analytical to be “spiritual?” Scripture directs us to be purposeful in our spiritual growth and discipleship. For instance, Paul told Timothy to “train” himself for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7-8). Planning and goal setting doesn’t mean God is not in it. 

Haphazard discipleship will always yield haphazard results. But purposeful discipleship, guided by God, will yield spiritual growth and deeper intimacy with God.

I’ve personally done this for several years now. First, I do a spiritual year-end review. I evaluate my progress – or lack of progress – and think about where I wanted to be. Then I set some goals and strategies to get there.

I’ve developed a couple of resources to help with this process. I’d love to share them with you! 

Look Back and Evaluate

Before we can plot a course ahead, we need to evaluate our current spiritual condition. Let’s ask ourselves tough questions about the quality of our relationship with God and others, and our level of obedience and service. Use this evaluation form to help with this process:


Planning for the New Year

Now we’re ready to set goals and plan strategies for growth. (See “5 Tips for Setting Spiritual Growth Goals” for help.) This worksheet lists categories and specific disciplines to help you plan:


By Kathy Howard


Kathy HowardKathy Howard is a treasure hunter. She hunts for the creamiest chocolate and richest coffee. She searches for cherished stories of faith that still impact hearts. And, she digs deep into God’s Word, mining His eternal truths for herself and to share with others. With more than 30 years of experience, Kathy has taught in dozens of states, internationally, and in a wide range of venues including multi-church conferences and large online events. 

She has a Masters of Christian Education and a certificate in Women’s Ministry from the Canadian Baptist Theological Seminary. Kathy is the author of 12 books, including five Bible studies, the “Deep Rooted” devotional series. She also serves on the LifeWay Women’s Ministry Training Team. Kathy and her husband live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area near family. They have three married children, six grandchildren, and one accidental dog. Kathy provides free discipleship resources and blogs regularly at www.KathyHoward.org.