I hope that these characteristics might be helpful to you in knowing both your spiritual level and the great things in store for you as you follow Christ.

Also, this list may explain the behaviors of some of the Christians around you -- including hypocrites. Most hypocrites continually display infant and childhood behavior.

Andrea, the issue of spiritual maturity is so important that I've decided to answer your letter in four parts. this is part one. Parts two through four will expand the characteristics of each level of maturity in the hopes that you and others will a clear-cut understanding of your personal spiritual level and what comes next in the journey.

By the way, Andrea, you might enjoy reading Hinds' Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard. this book is an allegoric road map of spiritual maturity in story-book form.

May God bless you beyond measure.

Love, Roger

Ask RogerDr. Roger Barrier recently retired as senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to being an author and sought-after conference speaker, Roger has mentored or taught thousands of pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders worldwide. Casas Church, where Roger served throughout his thirty-five-year career, is a megachurch known for a well-integrated, multi-generational ministry. The value of including new generations is deeply ingrained throughout Casas to help the church move strongly right through the twenty-first century and beyond. Dr. Barrier holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Golden Gate Seminary in Greek, religion, theology, and pastoral care. His popular book, Listening to the Voice of God, published by Bethany House, is in its second printing and is available in Thai and Portuguese. His latest work is Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, from Xulon Press. Roger can be found blogging at Preach It, Teach It, the pastoral teaching site founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Barrier.

Publication date: May 30, 2012