Challenge :: John Burke

Posted on

Sunday, August 20th


Despite the fact that most of us may not like change, and even resist it, there’s probably something in our lives we want to change. Change doesn’t come easily, and trying hard can only accomplish so much. If you really want to see changes in your life, you have to train for it and be challenged by the people closest to you. So what does spiritual training and challenging others in love really look like?

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning!


1. Have you ever aspired to accomplish a goal that required some sort of training? What was that experience like for you? What types of things helped you along the way?

2. How do you feel when you want to change, but you don’t see any progress? Have you ever found disappointment could lead to hope?

3. Read Galatians 6:1-2. What types of attitudes should we have when we challenge one another?

4. Read Hebrews 10:24-25. Describe a time when someone encouraged you to live up to your spiritual potential. How did you receive their challenge?

5. Read 1 Timothy 4:7-8. How would you assess your overall spiritual fitness? What kinds of spiritual exercises do you incorporate into your week?

6. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. What are some benefits you’ve experienced when someone has kept you accountable to a goal?

7. What step can you take this week to initiate or foster a relationship where you can both graciously offer and receive spiritual challenges?



Galatians 6:1-2 – Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Hebrews 10:24-25 – Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 – Spend your time and energy training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

As you begin to apply this week’s message and look to challenge others in love as well as receive challenges from those closest to you, a great way to dig deeper is to make sure you have a spiritual running partner. The purpose of spiritual running partner relationships is to provide the encouragement, pacing, and motivation we all need to mature spiritually.

There are some important things you should keep in mind in your running partner relationships, including: • Be a listener. • Be gracious. • Be truthful. • Be sensitive to God’s Spirit. • Be gentle. • Be multipliers. • Be sensitive with sensitive information. • Share “the last 10%.”

For a detailed description of these running partner guidelines, go to