Basics for Spiritual Growth

Growing up I had few actual mentors in my Christian walk. When I was fourteen, we moved to the great Northwest and God placed me under a pastor who took Scripture to heart. As a young man, he spent a season of fasting and prayer where God confirmed that, although he was a Louisiana boy, he was to plant a church in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.

I am eternally grateful to Pastor Truman for the couple of years he invested in my spiritual growth and all I learned from being part of the infancy of a new church. I wanted to stay there the rest of my life, but God had other plans. When my father’s company transferred him back to our home state, I felt like I was being ripped from my spiritual incubator!

I remember wanting so desperately to find a church that had sound teaching, and as soon as I got my driver’s license I began scouring the city (and even surrounding counties) for a church that would provide solid discipling. Sadly, in those three years I never found one. I finally settled into a church that “professed” evangelicalism but expressed little life.

In the years when I didn’t have real-life mentors, I had great heroes of the faith who “taught” me me—via me reading their books—and I am eternally grateful for the way God used them in my life. You may be in that same spot, looking for older and wiser believers who will help you in your spiritual growth, but you’ve not found them yet. Maybe reading some of my heroes will help.

Today, I want to pass on to you a few books that I consider as basic for spiritual growth. Just click on the title and you can read the reviews and get more information about these great classics.

You might consider combining some of these books with your topic of study for the year:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Knowing God  by J. I. Packer

The Cross of Christ by John Stott

Desiring God by John Piper

Basic Christianity by John Stott

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Loving God by Charles Colson

The Pursuit of God  by A. W. Tozer

Thirsting for God by Gary Thomas

I’m deeply indebted to these men, my heroes in the faith, my mentors. I hope you’ll come to love them as dearly as I do. This month, I hope to help you get started with a “spiritual growth” plan.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you what my spiritual focus for 2014 is, and the following two weeks on the blog, I’ll be doing a “Top Ten” series where I’ll be sharing with you what I’ve found to be the top ten most important things to incorporate into my life for spiritual growth. I hope you’ll stay tuned for that!

Who are some of your spiritual heroes?

Any books you’d like to add to my list?


  • Darcie

    J D Greear’s book “Gospel:Rediscovering the Power that made Christianity Revolutionary” is an excellent read. I have also really enjoyed reading Andrew Murray’s published sermons.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Thanks for the recommendation, Darcie, I want to check out Greear’s book. I’ve only read one of his and this one sounds good as well!