Spiritual Practices

Series Introduction: Heart Head Hands- Pathways to Spiritual Growth

In my role as pastor of spiritual formation, I’m consistently in conversations surrounding the concept of spiritual growth. Two of the most common questions I get asked are:

  1. How can I grow spiritually?
  2. What does it look like to be growing as a follower of Christ?

Here at Blackhawk we want everyone to be growing – no matter where we are in our faith journey. We believe everyone can take a next step.

In the Bible, we find that our growth should encompass all of who we are. It’s summarized in the Old and New Testaments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, mind and your neighbor as yourself (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27). In our upcoming sermon series–Heart Head Hands: Pathways to Spiritual Growth–we’ll focus on questions like:  

  • What does a mature and vibrant heart look like as we grow in Christ? How can we grow our hearts for God?
  • How can we be growing in our understanding and knowledge of God and his desires and purposes for us?
  • How is it important for our spiritual growth to include serving and identifying our God-given gifts and talents for being a part of God’s work in the world?

This three-week series is nestled within our Psalms Mixtape series:

July 15 — Heart
July 22 – Head
July 29 – Hands

Along with the sermons, we recommend the following resources on Christian spiritual growth:

Heart Head Hands

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, by Richard Foster

Invitation to Solitude and Silence, by Ruth Haley Barton

Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You, by John Ortberg

Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation, by Robert Mulholland Jr.

Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, by Dallas Willard

Older Classics:

Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer

The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Knowing God, J. I. Packer

If you would rather listen than read, we have a few video and podcast episodes that are worth your time:

The Bible Project: Heart
“Different cultures have different conceptions of the human heart, what it is and what it does, and the biblical authors are no exception. In this video, we’ll explore the ancient Hebrew words for “heart” as well as the different ideas of what our hearts represent. There is no biblical word that captures better the essence of human thought, feeling, and desire, than this rich and wonderful word.”

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast
In this podcast, author and spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton talks about what it looks like to maintain a life-giving connection with God in the midst of leading. While this podcast is designed for ministry leaders, it’s applicable to everyone. We recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through.

The Disciplines Aren’t the Point// Renovare Podcast
A podcast episode with Richard Foster and his son Nathan Foster. “In this candid conversation, we’re reminded disciplines aren’t the point but serve to bring body, mind, and heart before God, who does in us more than we can ever do for ourselves.”

Liturgy of the Ordinary// Renovare Podcast
“Tish helps us see not simply that ordinary life matters but how it matters and how we can be found by God in the ordinary.”


About the Author: Craig Gartland
Craig is Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk and oversees Adult Ministries. He completed his Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and spent over two decades of his career in campus ministry. He is married to Sharon and they have four children. His passions include cycling, listening to jazz music, photography, and the writings of C.S. Lewis.