St. James United Church of Christ
Tending Your Soul's Garden
TENDING YOUR SOUL'S GARDEN
(The spiritual work of seeding, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting)
"To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven…
A time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2b)
All of us go through various seasons, as we go about living our life. The following 19 questions can provide you an opportunity to look at your soul's garden, whether you feel like you are in the spring, summer, autumn or winter of your spiritual journey as a Christian.
Alongside each number you have a question posed to you. If you answer “yes", move on to the next question. If you answer "no," check out the link(s) related to that question to find guidance on how you can turn your answer from a "no" into a resounding "yes". No need to be overly self-conscious or embarrassed, for all of us are on a journey, and what matters is not where you are, but whether you will continue to move forward on your journey of faith.
After completing the "seasonal review of your soul's garden," determine the spiritual growth (your "no" answer will be a good place to start) you desire in the upcoming year, and then fill out the annual spiritual growth plan at the end of this document. We are hopeful you will share your plan with someone you trust and admire, and ask them to hold you accountable to your plan and to keep you in prayer.
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please feel free to contact the Rev. Lynn P. Lampman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-446-3036.
Please note that this is not an online fill-in-the-blank form.
Connect to Spiritual Community (Start Date:_________________)
by using ________________________
Connect to God's Kingdom (Start Date: ____________________)
by using _________________________
by using ____________________________
Name of someone I have told about my annual spiritual growth plan who promises to ask me every month what work I have done to live out my plan, and pray for me daily
CONNECTING TO GOD:
1. I have a daily time and place for prayer and reading the Bible.
2. I reflect on the Bible as a guide for my daily life and to help me in times of need.
3. When I read the Bible, I read with comprehension, remember it and apply it to my life.
4. I maintain an attitude of prayer throughout the day. My prayers include thanksgiving,
praise, confession and requests.
I believe my prayers impact my life and the lives of others.
I remain confident of God's love and provision during difficult times and I have an inner
peace and contentment even when things go wrong.
5. I am able to initiate prayer in a group and pray for a group when asked to do so.
- "Praying Aloud"
6. When reviewing choices and making decisions, I seek God's guidance through prayer.
I seek to grow closer to God by listening to God in prayer and I spend as much time
listening to God as talking to God.
7. I regularly confess my sins to God.
When I sin, I am quick to confess it to God and re-establish my walk of faith.
CONNECTING TO OTHERS AND SELF:
8. I compassionately listen to myself and am regularly aware of my feelings, thoughts and
9. Given my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I treat it well.
- “What Does a Body Good”
10. I believe God has forgiven me for everything I have ever done.
11. I practice a weekly time of rest and renewal ("Sabbath keeping").
12. When I sin against another person, I am quick to confess and seek forgiveness and
I forgive others when their actions harm me.
I strive to live in harmony with other members of my family.
13. I keep my composure when speaking to others.
I control my tongue.
When I am angry, I do not do or say things that hurt myself or others.
I am known as a person who speaks words of kindness to those in need of
I encourage others by pointing out their strengths rather than criticizing their
14. I clearly know what I value and live true to those values.
CONNECTING TO SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY:
15. I participate with a group of Christians who really know me, support me and hold me
CONNECTING TO GOD'S KINGDOM:
16. I participate in some form of mission or service to the poor and needy in my community
and the world.
I help others, expecting nothing in return.
17. My spending habits do not keep me from giving what I feel I should give to God.
18. I understand my spiritual gifts and use those gifts to serve others.
19. I stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
ANNUAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH PLAN:
Connect to God (Start Date: _______________)
by using _________________________________
by using ________________________________
Connect to Others and Self (Start Date:_______)
by using ______________________________
by using ______________________________