You have to have all 5, or you'll get stuck and stay stuck.
Here are the 5 critical elements. Helpful tools and links follow the list.
1) Read Your Bible
3) Small Group
Now for quick links, a few words and some help on each of these:
Read your Bible
Don't buy the myth that says the Bible is just a big mystery, you can't understand it, you can't trust it, or it's boring. None of that is true! Yes, there are some very hard parts, but much of the Bible is fantastically fun and easy to follow. And all of it is helpful for connecting with God in some way.
We have several tools for you.
1) You can get a text message from PCC every day to remind you of some verses to read. This way, we're reading the Bible together. Several folks said this was very helpful as we've experimented with it. Text "pccwired2" to 41411 for your daily reminder.
2) We have a blog set up where we will post the entire text of the scripture each day and allow you to ask your questions and respond to questions that others ask about the Bible reading we're doing. You can find this at www.unstuckatpcc.net
3) I've written several past posts about the Bible. One about the different kinds of Bible translations you might want to read is here. Another about why I don't read the King James version of the Bible is here. Here's another post that I wrote that deals with the fear we often face when it comes to reading the Bible and gives some helpful hints at starting to read it.
4) The first service in our Stuck series was about the Bible and can be seen here.
Praying can feel a little strange for folks. But God really is there, with you, listening. Still, He doesn't just want to hear you, He also wants to speak. And He will, if we'll give Him room. We have to learn to quiet our soul and clear the voices that are clamoring inside of us so that God's voice can be heard.
I have learned that prayer is not just something that must be done, but also a skill that must be learned. On the day I got married, I became a husband. And yet, over time, I have developed some skill at becoming a good husband. On the day my first child was born, I became a dad. But over time, I have learned how to become a good dad. (I think I would prefer to say that I am still learning to become a good dad and husband, but you get the point).
So, sure, anyone can open their mouth and talk to God. Technically speaking, anyone can pray. But over time, if we're intentional and we practice, we can also learn how to be good at praying. We probably don't need much practice at the talking part, but we need to work on how to listen.
You can watch the service we did on this here and read the post I wrote about it here. In that post, I referenced a book you might want to get. Thomas Keating has written many books on this topic.
You weren't meant to journey through your spiritual life alone. God intended for us to do this together. We're better together. Acts 2:41-47 is just one of many places that bear out what it looks like when we do this. We need each other.
Angie Frame's most excellent message about this can be seen here. And you can still be a part of a small group! See the current small group catalog here. You can sign up for a small group here.
God has you here for a purpose. He can use your skills, talents, passions, experiences...even your mistakes and sins - all for a good purpose. You can't get unstuck if you aren't giving your time.
We did a service last year called Get in the Game that was a lot of fun and it was about this topic. You can watch it here. You can also email Susan Hughes if you have questions about where or how to get involved at PCC. She's at email@example.com or, if you're ready, you can sign up here.
This is the hardest part. People are willing to do the other 4 before this one. But God gives us a grand promise...and I've seen this play out in my life. Many others bear witness to this promise being true in their lives, too. It goes like this:
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10, NIV1984, emphasis mine)
You can experience the full force of God's promise, but you have to overcome your fear and trust Him. Begin by making a commitment to God with giving. Commit to give a percentage of your income to the church that stretches you. While the tithe is 10% - and that should be your goal - I encourage you to start somewhere. If that means 1% or 5%, fine. For the long time tither, you might need to up your giving to 11% or more.
Whatever it is, STRETCH! Make a commitment! And keep your commitment. Then, when your timeframe is up (6 months or so), evaluate to see if God has kept up His end of the promise (which He will), and up your commitment for the next season.
You can watch today's service here.
So Get Unstuck! Take the challenge! Implement all 5 of these things in your life for 90 days and see what happens. It will be like life as you've never known it before.