Here’s the truth: If you’re depending on your pastor (or any other leader for that matter) to meet all of your spiritual needs, you’re going to be disappointed… and odds are, you’ll leave them drained.
We’re not gurus. We’re not experts. We don’t have a corner on the market.
And you can’t thrive as a follower of Jesus if you only engage with God one day a week… through someone else.
Back in the 1500s, a guy named Martin Luther started a reformation helping people understand they could have direct access to God. He was right – YOU have direct access to God. You can pray on your own, worship on your own, and serve on your own.
The church is and should be a vital part of your faith. Plants don’t typically survive unless they are rooted in good soil. But there are things you can do to grow your faith all week long, not just on Sunday.
So, here’s a list of some of my favorite resources and links to help.
- THE BIBLE
- This one is easy. Hands down, YouVersion is just about the best platform for reading the Bible digitally. The website is great, but the app is where the magic happens. You can choose a reading plan, share notes and questions with others, and keep track of your progress. Also, every Sunday at Vertical Church, we have an event on YouVersion where you can take sermon notes.
- BOOKS – Here are just three books I’ve read that have helped me grow in my faith (other than the Bible, of course… see above!)
- Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis. This is a classic from one of the most important authors of the 20th century. Great read for both beginners and veterans.
- Home Run – Kevin Myers. Fairly new edition to my list, the value of this book is in the analogy Pastor Kevin uses to describe how a Christian grows. Plus, we’re doing a series from this in the spring!
- Simply Christian – N.T. Wright. A bit thicker on the content, I would recommend this one to a person who’s already familiar with Christianity but is looking for some fresh perspective.
- PODCASTS – I listen to a lot of sermons and preachers. Here are three of my favorites.
- Andy Stanley – Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church (and a bunch of others) in Georgia. Pastor Andy’s sermons are always incredibly practical and easy to understand.
- Judah Smith – Pastor of The City Church in Seattle, WA. Pastor Judah is a great communicator, and his stories are hilarious. But don’t be fooled, he’ll smack you in the face with the truth while making you enjoy it!
- John Gray – Associate Pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He’s a recent addition to my list, and you’ll have to just search him out because he doesn’t have his own podcast. But it’s definitely worth it!
- WORSHIP MUSIC – I love music. I love Jesus. I love music about Jesus… good music about Jesus 😂! The links here are to their websites. You can also search for them on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever else you like.
- Bethel Music – The worship songs that come out of this place are just insane! A majority of the songs we play on Sundays at Vertical Church come from either Bethel Church or Jesus Culture, who used to be at Bethel before launching a church in Sacramento, CA.
- Hillsong – Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Includes Hillsong Music, Hillsong United, Hillsong Young and Free… and whatever else they put out!
- Ramp Church – This is another place where we find songs for Sunday. It also doesn’t hurt that Hope’s sister and her husband sing and play there!
I hope this list helps you grow in your faith. Pick one or two of these and try them for a week or two. And be sure to let me know in the comments below what you find helpful or what you’d add to the list. I can already thing of a few things I missed!