Sunday, October 7, 2018

How to Grow by Darryl Dash

We know we are to grow spiritually. We've read the books, gone to the seminars, yet are still frustrated. This book just might have some answers.

So what is different about this book on spiritual growth? Habits. Dash has developed what he calls a habit-based approach to discipleship and spiritual growth. Changing our habits changes our desires. Habits are formative. He has a good strategy for developing the habits that help our being transformed to Christ's image. Another emphasis is that spiritual growth is more than just gaining information or changed behavior. It is a renewing of the whole person, becoming the humans God intended. Dash also reminds us that the foundation for the growth is the gospel. He clarifies why self help books don't work. We can't do it on our own. We need and have the very power of God working in us.

Much of the book is what we would expect to find in a book on spiritual growth. Dash writes of the three core habits of Bible reading and meditation, prayer, and worship, something one would expect. He does take those a bit deeper than I've seen before. He adds six supporting habits we would expect, such as keeping Sabbath, giving, serving, sharing the gospel, and maintaining physical health.

What was new to me was the sixth supporting habit of creating a Rule of Life, “a set of healthy habits that provide direction and growth in our lives.” (p. 142) He has good tips on developing that Rule. (This Rule does not mean a law but rather is from the Latin and means something done regularly.) Samples are provided in an Appendix so we get an idea of what they are like.

There are bullet summaries at the end of each chapter as well as questions for personal reflection or group discussion and some suggestions to help readers think, pray, and get going. Those features would make this a good book to use with a group of trusted friends.

I do recommend this book to Christians who desire a strategy for spiritual growth. There is valuable material in here for new Christians and seasoned ones.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Darryl Dash is pastor of Liberty Grace Church in Toronto. He is also cofounder of Gospel for Life and director of Advance Church Planting Institute. He has a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has over twenty five years of ministry experience. He and his wife have two adult children. You can find out more at https://dashhouse.com/.

Moody Publishers, 192 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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