No. And yes. The master of spiritual growth is the Spirit and only he can guide us. But the Spirit works through people and the OPISO people want to help position you to sense the leading and work of the Spirit in your life. We have identified some basic traits of a Christ follower and then we’ve come up with questions that reveal the extent to which those traits are being cultivated in you. Our list is not exhaustive. But, it is a start and a lot of the traits that didn’t make the list flow out of the ones that did. Get to work on these and others will follow.
One of the strengths of the list is that it is holistic. The traits are divided into three categories: beliefs, practices and virtues. Beliefs are the things we know about God and ourselves, practices are what we do as a result of those beliefs, and virtues are character qualities that pervade all our being and doing. So, for example, we’ve all known “belief-oriented” Christians who could give chapter and verse for any bit of doctrine we might ask about (and a whole bunch more we didn’t even know existed!) and yet this same person hasn’t let off a whiff of joy in the last decade, which is a virtue that is also important to God. At the same time, some Christians are so joyful you need sunglasses to look at them, but ask them why the Bible is worthy of holding authority in our lives and all you’ll get is a bunch of hemming and hawing. If we can point out these weaknesses, provide some resources and push people towards community where godly change is nurtured, then we’ve positioned ourselves to catch the wind of the the Spirit. And that’s what brings the real transformation.
Here’s how the traits in the inventory break down: