This page can also be downloaded as a PDF leaflet.

This booklet is designed for members of Grace Church Gateshead, to give a summary of the core disciplines and habits that promote ongoing growth as a Christian. We call these disciplines ‘means of grace’. This means that — while none of these activities earn favour or make God love us more — they are ‘well-trodden paths’ which God uses to give us grace, grow us in maturity and make us more alive to him.

Read the Bible

Daily Bible reading is like eating food daily; your health as a Christian depends on it. Sometimes you may not be able to eat (and you will survive!) and sometimes you will enjoy a wonderful feast, but daily you need to be nourished with God’s word. All the other spiritual disciplines will be limited in helping your discipleship to Jesus if they are not based upon a consistent daily rhythm of Scripture. We recommend using one of the ESV’s Bible reading plans, which you can view here:, or using the monthly ‘Let’s Read the Bible Together’ plans on the YouVersion app.


Prayer is talking to God. The Scriptures themselves help us and train us to pray. We can begin by memorising the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6.9-13) and using that as a template for our prayers; we can pray the Psalms, which express every aspect of our experience and emotion; we can learn and pray the other prayers in the Bible. Ask for a copy of GCG’s booklet of Biblical Prayers.

It is immensely helpful to keep a prayer diary, which could be a written one or an app such as PrayerMate. With a prayer diary you can a) plan what/who to pray for, and when; b) bring it to church and Community Group and update it with things to pray for others; and c) look back and praise God for answering prayer (it is amazing how quickly we forget God’s answers).

Many people find it helpful to write out their prayers (e.g. in a journal or note-taking app), in order to stop their mind from wandering. This can also help us look back and praise God at a later date.

Memorise and meditate

‘Meditation’ is originally a deeply Christian concept (see Psalm 1) meaning to dwell on God’s thoughts, turning them over in our minds, so that his thoughts increasingly shape our thoughts. Meditation is like the slow, thoughtful, attentive, chewing of food to get all the flavour and enjoyment.

Memorising Scripture massively enables meditation. An excellent resource is a little book called, ‘An Approach to Extended Memorisation of Scripture’ by Andrew Davis.

Sunday worship

Sunday worship combines a number of ‘corporate’ means of grace: Bible preaching; corporate prayer; the Lord’s Supper; and the encouragement of the informal conversations before and afterwards.

Preaching is God’s primary means for building up his church, and sitting under Biblical preaching is essential for Christian growth.

In the Lord’s Supper, we have a meal Jesus gave his church to continue sharing ‘in remembrance’ of him. Through the memory of his sacrifice, and the anticipation of the great ‘Wedding Feast’ of the New Creation, we are spiritually nourished by him right now, together. 

The Bible warns us not to neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10.25), but instead to encourage one another.

Family worship

The family is a God-given ‘mini community’ for worshipping him. God commands parents throughout the Bible (including Deuteronomy 11.18-21 and Ephesians 6.4) to teach their children his word. That should be done informally (“when you are walking by the way”) as opportunity arises but can also be practised more formally as part of a daily routine. Essentially, family worship should include reading the Bible together but is also a wonderful opportunity to pray, sing and encourage one another.

What family worship looks like will necessarily vary from situation to situation, not least in making it appropriate for the children’s ages. However, it is best begun as a daily habit among married couples before they even have children — so little ones grow up never knowing any different. We would also encourage believing dads to be the ones lovingly leading family worship whenever that is possible, as the Bible exhorts.

For more information, see ‘What about families and children?’

Community Groups

The Christian community is the primary context for Christian growth! If you are not in a Community Group please make joining one a priority.

See our, ‘What is a Community Group?’ for more.

Deeper Bible study

Each year we run a course called ‘Dig Deeper’ at GCG, which helps us dig deeper together into important aspects of Christian doctrine. 

We keep a list of recommended resources for further individual study.


See ‘Why give to church?’ for why giving is so spiritually vital.