Making Spiritual Progress
We often think of "spiritual growth" as a matter of behavior. In reality spiritual growth is a matter of the heart.
In Making Spiritual Progress Allen Ratta introduces a revolutionary system for monitoring your motivations—faith, hope and love, the virtues out of which spiritual growth grows. Fully integrated into the self-assessment and growth tools found at spiritualprogress.com, this book will help you
If you want to transform your life, start with your heart. Everything else will follow.
"Making Spiritual Progress assists individuals in refocusing their hearts, minds and actions toward the heart of the Father. By allowing individuals to identify their spiritual strengths, it empowers people to confidently walk in greater faith, hope and love. Simultaneously, as growth areas are noted, people can intentionally grow, ensuring nothing will hold them back from their God-appointed destiny. Thanks to Making Spiritual Progress, our church community has greater faith, hope, love, accountability and community."
"God brings along gifted individuals who offer insights to ministry and our service to the kingdom. Allen Ratta is such a person! Having met Allen some twenty years ago, I was impressed with his dedication to God, his success in ministry and his willingness to share those insights through personal mentoring and inspired writing. I challenge you to read his newest book, Making Spiritual Progress. Personal and probing, it will provide practical and applicable principles that will change your spiritual journey and give strength to fulfill your call."
"Allen Ratta has a unique and effective grace to communicate insights regarding faith, hope and love. The truths he unveils will brighten the path for anyone--from parent to pastor-- to receive and minister genuine transformation."
"Allen Ratta brings us an impassioned plea for character transformation in this awakening discourse of one's spiritual journey. Today's church needs voices that will penetrate the very core of moral fiber, cultural analysis and visionary development. Making Spiritual Progress causes the reader to look deeply within, exposing the mysteries of Christ's gospel in and through each of us. This work is a paradigm-shifting road to an encounter with Christ that changes hearts, changes lives, changes ministries."
"When a leader offers wisdom born out of personal experience, we have a unique opportunity to listen and benefit, perhaps avoiding some of the challenges we might otherwise encounter. Allen Ratta offers such an opportunity in this work, and does so in an informed and engaging fashion. For the leader who recognizes that lifelong learning and growth are keys to leadership health and longevity, Allen?s insights are both helpful and encouraging."
"New Song Church leads over a thousand people to Christ each year, so we are always on the lookout for quality discipleship materials. After reading the first three chapters of Allen's book I told our staff I had discovered a gold mine! Faith, hope, and love are the foundational virtues that grow a person in Christ. I hope every church and pastor will take a look at this material for their church."
"With a beguiling simplicity, Alan weaves a story about our behaviors being determined by our character, our character determined by our motivations, and our motivations determined by . . . At each point he weaves Scripture and modern day stories to point us to a focused way of thinking and living."
"Allan Ratta has remarkable insight into what it means to experience real and lasting spiritual transformation, and the ability to lead people into it. His commitment to seeing people become their true selves is contagious. Read this book with an open heart and you will find there is no going back to a life without meaning and purpose."
"I've known Allen Ratta for over two decades, and I can assure you that Making Spiritual Progress is forged out of the heart of a pastor, the mind of a theologian and the expertise of an engineer. Instead of another book that makes you feel guilty over the lack of progress in your spiritual journey, this work will open up a whole new door and set you free to become God's best version of yourself."
"Amongst a plethora of books about discipleship and spiritual formation, Allen Ratta introduces a fresh approach that integrates both and focuses on the character outcomes of faith, hope and love. Instead of discipleship being the endgame, Allen demonstrates how discipleship is the means to the ultimate goal of developing our faith, strengthening our hope and increasing our love for God and others. Want to make progress in your spiritual journey? Read this book."
"Zeroing in on our hearts and motivations, Allen Ratta diagnoses the critical factors that often block our spiritual transformation--what keeps us from real change of character in who we are and what we do as Christ-followers. . . . In this compelling volume you'll find biblical and practical information to be able to assimilate for growing in grace and truth!"
"It was thirty years ago that I first heard Allen Ratta's thoughts on spiritual growth as they were in the embryonic stages. My first response was that these thoughts must be capsulized in written form to help believers and churches advance in their walk with God. Making Spiritual Progress is the culmination of Allen's lifelong pursuit of spiritual growth written through the lens of practicality, life experience as a pastor, but most importantly, the leading of the Holy Spirit. Thanks, Allen, for providing an in-depth look into the journey every pastor, church and believer in Christ must take into faith, hope and love in order to advance their spiritual growth!"
"Christian living is not about trying really hard to be good. It is about having the right heart, the right character, the right motives. We are changed from the inside out. Making Spiritual Progress is about changing our lives, starting with our motives. When we are motivated by faith, hope and love, our behaviors will fall into line. Allen Ratta shows us how to change lives, starting with the heart."
"I've often said that following Jesus is not about doing, it's about being. Jesus didn't save me to do something. He saved me to be something: his child conformed to his image. Allen Ratta captures the heart of this reality in this book. I'm excited about the freedom that many will find in discovering the powerful truths Allen unpacks!"
"Refreshing! Unique! Practical! A wonderful book! A significant resource! One of God's primary love languages is to see his children grow and to, in the words of Romans 8:29, 'become conformed to the image of his Son.' This book will help you do just that. Making Spiritual Progress, combined with the self-assessment at SpiritualProgress.com, is an invaluable resource that will help you make faith, hope and love a part of who you are and not just something that you do. His chapter on love alone is worth the price of the book, and it will open your eyes to new ways to cultivate a life characterized by a rich, deep and Christ-like love. This book will be a sound investment in your spiritual life. It's a resource you will return to, refer to your friends and read more than once."
"Making Spiritual Progress is bold, but it is healing. Allen Ratta helps us discover what fuel we have in our tanks and how to switch fuels to faith, hope and love. He unpacks each one to reveal God's original design. Then he gives us step-by-step guidance toward God's best. This is a book long overdue!"
"Where does true spiritual growth come from? Most of us spend time trying to fix our behaviors: we try to read our Bibles more, pray more, etc. While these are fine, Allen Ratta points out that they only focus on outward behaviors. What we need is something that will change us from the inside out, down to our very DNA. God doesn't just want to change your behavior; he wants to change your character too. Making Spiritual Progress will help you to achieve spiritual growth."
"Faith, hope and love aren't Christian clichés. They're the stuff of spiritual maturity: the ground floor, intrastructure and scaffolding that the Holy Spirit uses to make us more like Jesus. The SpiritualProgress model fits so well with the biblical paradigm that it's almost "a priori" obvious once you step back and look at it. It makes you wonder, Why hadn't I seen that before?"
"Allen Ratta's insight will help you in what is a lifelong pursuit: growing. Read and continue the journey of developing. Making Spiritual Progress is a book that will enlighten your path."
"Allen has knocked it out of the park! The Spiritual Progress model is so thoroughly biblical that I'm instantly drawn to it, and I think you will be too. This book is about understanding and managing our motivations--the energies that propel us and drive the decisions we make. Understanding that there are behaviors that flow naturally out of our character is eye opening and life changing. Devour this book and live a Spirit-filled and Spirt-led life."
Foreword by Larry Osborne
1 The Five Rules of Personal Motivation: Understanding Our Motivations
2 The Three Great Forces of Positive Motivation: The Engines of Transformation
3 The Three Great Isms that Rule the World: The Forces of Negative Motivation
4 The Balances of Motivation: Discovering Your Power Zone
5 Motivational Exercise: The Work of Character Development
6 Changing Your Tree: How God Grows People
7 Faith: The Trusting Virtue
8 The Distortions of Faith: Faith Imbalances and the Power Zone
9 Hope: The Optimism Virtue
10 The Distortions of Hope: Hope Imbalances and the Power Zone
11 Love: The Giving Virtue
12 The Distortions of Love: Love Imbalances and the Power Zone
13 Growing Forward: Assess, Discover and Grow
Appendix A: 14 Principles for Spiritual Growth: Growing in Faith
Appendix B: 14 Principles for Spiritual Growth: Growing in Hope
Appendix C: 14 Principles for Spiritual Growth: Growing in Love