Are you dissatisfied with your spiritual life?
Do you feel stuck or stagnant? Are you tired of going through the motions of faith? Do you want to make real progress in your life, but not know where to start? How to Grow is a book for people who want to grow spiritually and help others grow as well.
We often see the gospel as the starting point of the Christian life, rather than the main point of all of life. But the truth is that the gospel is the key to all ongoing growth in our lives. As Galatians 2:14 says, we are called to live our whole lives “in step with the truth of the gospel.” In How to Grow, Darryl Dash will walk you through a practical, habit-based approach to spiritual growth.
Join Darryl as he unpacks the gospel, shows how it applies to every area of your life, and helps you evaluate your current stage of growth so you know what steps to take next. You’ll learn why habits are important, how to build them, and which ones to focus on first. Plus, you’ll discover the roles that joy and desire play in our spiritual growth journey.
Practical without being formulaic, How to Grow offers actionable ideas to facilitate spiritual growth in the lives of regular, messy people—people like you and me.
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About the Author
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 Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has over 25 years of ministry experience. Darryl is married to Charlene, and has two adult children, Christy and Josiah. You can find Darryl online at www.DashHouse.com.
Table of Contents
1 The Best News Ever and What It Means for You 19
2 We're Created to Grow 41
3 Rethinking Growth: Pursuingjoy and Transformed Desires 53
4 Know Where You Are, Then Take the Next Step 67
5 Master the Basics: Know, Worship, Obey 83
6 How Habits Help You Grow 95
7 Three Core Habits We Never Outgrow 113
8 Six Practices to Propel Your Spiritual Growth 129
9 Pursue Growth Together: Our Call to Disciple Others 147
Appendix 1 Recommended Resources 165
Appendix 2 Creating A Rule of Life 167
Appendix 3 A Word to Pastors and Church Leaders 173
About Gospel for Life 175
What People are Saying About This
Praise for How to Grow
God wants us to grow. But without a plan, growth will remain an aspiration instead of a reality. How to Grow provides a robust, practical, and habit-based plan to help individuals and churches become more intentional in pursuing transformation. If you’re interested in growing and helping others grow, then you’ll appreciate this book.
Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College and Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center
I’ve become such an admirer of Darryl Dash in the several years I’ve known him, and I’m grateful to see his pastoral and practical wisdom poured into these pages. Without a doubt, people will read How to Grow and discover habits to help them grow in Christ. This will now be the first book I turn to in my own discipleship relationships.
JEN POLLOCK MICHEL
Author of Teach Us to Want and Keeping Place
Deeply simple. Profoundly accessible. Generously gracious. Here are three phrases that describe How to Grow. In his book, Darryl outlines a refreshing approach to an ancient practice—spiritual growth. So don’t miss this, and don’t read it too fast either—take it one step at a time.
Author of No Silver Bullets, coauthor of Planting Missional Churches,
director of church multiplication at NewChurches.com, podcaster, and teaching pastor
Discipleship is a key but often neglected part of Christian life and ministry. Without intentionality, it simply won’t happen. I’m encouraged to see Darryl exploring this important topic, and pray that this book will be a blessing to the church.
Author of Do More Better and blogger at challies.com
While we may say we believe the gospel, most of us aren’t changed by it. How to Grow is about how to get the gospel in you—not through more information but through desire-forming habits.
Darryl Dash’s book is a hopeful and practical pathway for personal and communal transformation: one that combats “try harder and know more” with the explosive power of grace.
Pastor’s wife, and author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs
If you’re frustrated by the long lists of do’s and don’ts often found in books on spiritual growth, you’ll find How to Grow refreshingly straightforward and relevant. Filled with relatable stories, reflection
questions, and actionable next steps, this book invites readers to grow into the full life found in Jesus Christ, not just in the eternity to come but in our daily lives right where we are.
Founder of One Thing Alone Ministries, and author of Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction and He Is Enough: Living in the Fullness of Jesus
Darryl Dash has an ability to present the truth in memorable and inviting ways. This book will be another good contribution to the community of faith.
Author of This Is Our Time, Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project
I cannot overstate my enthusiasm for Darryl Dash’s project How to Grow. Though there are plenty of books on the classic spiritual disciplines, there are precious few that equip believers for practicing spiritual disciplines as a means of grace—as habits of the heart integrated into the whole of life. I will rejoice when this book gets published.
SCOTTY WARD SMITH
Teacher in Residence at West End Community Church, Nashville, TN, professor, and author of Everyday Prayers
Luther once said that to progress is always to begin again. In other words, Christian growth is not so much about reaching one new level of spirituality after the next as it is about returning, again and again, to the same grace that saved us in the first place. ’Tis grace that brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. Few resources help us in this grace journey as clearly and effectively as How to Grow does. I look forward not only to benefitting from Darryl’s guidance myself, but also to sharing it with friends and congregants who long for progress in their journey toward becoming like Christ.
Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church and author of From Weakness to Strength and Irresistible Faith.
The thing I love most about How to Grow is that Dash approaches spiritual discipleship holistically. He understands that there’s no sacred/ secular divide, and all of life can be worship and an opportunity to grow closer to Christ. Dash teaches people how to truly be successful in applying the gospel to all areas of life, because he understands that it’s only by God’s grace.
CHELSEA PATTERSON SOBOLIK
Author of Longing for Motherhood
I like this book a lot. It is simple, clear, biblically faithful, and extremely practical. Written by a pastor with experience in the stop and start nature of spiritual growth.
Founder of 20schemes, and author of Church in Hard Places