From Here to Maturity: Overcoming the Juvenilization of American Christianity
by Thomas Bergler
This book is a follow-up to Thomas Bergler's acclaimed work "The Juvenilization of American Christianity, " which documents how church youth ministries over the past several decades have contributed to a process of adolescent spiritual traits becoming accepted and even celebrated by Christians of all ages. This juvenilization in the church is a real problem that must be addressed, says Bergler, and in his new book he addresses it head-on.Bergler's "From Here to Maturity" is an accessible guide for helping both individuals and whole faith communities to grow spiritually. Bergler claims that spiritual maturity -- defined as basic competence in the Christian life -- is both desirable and attainable, and he effectively presents a biblical theology of spiritual maturity, identifying its traits from pertinent New Testament passages.Adapting Dallas Willard's model of spiritual formation and applying it to congregational life, Bergler offers a wealth of practical, research-based guidance as to how Christian leaders can effectively foster spiritual maturity in their congregations. He also identifies six key faith-sustaining factors and provides a system for evaluating a church's state of spiritual maturity and steps for improving it. Ecumenically friendly, "From Here to Maturity" will be useful to individuals and leaders from many different churches and theological traditions.