REPRODUCIBLE DISCIPLESHIP PROCESS
Today we continue to look at the topic, relational discipleship. In this post, we are going to explore a very often-overlooked component of making disciples – making the entire experience reproducible. The methods and the message of Jesus was a highly reproducible process. The early disciples were able to emulate Jesus’ methods.
There is an understandable, reproducible discipleship process. The leader (discipler) has a clear understanding of the discipleship process (His part). Also, the leader understands where the person (disciple) is spiritually, and helps provide what is needed from a human perspective for them to grow spiritually through the stages of discipleship (their part) and understand only GOD can do His part. Let’s consider how stages of spiritual growth can mimic the stages of physical, human growth:
STAGES OF PHYSICAL GROWTH:
- INFANT (0-2 yrs. old)
- CHILD (3-12 yrs. old)
- YOUNG ADULT (13-25 yrs. old)
- PARENT (26 yrs. old)
Now let’s look at how spiritual growth follows a similar growth pattern.
STAGES OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH:
People in this stage have not yet accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. They may completely reject God, they may be seeking God, they may even be “spiritual”, they may even claim to know God or be a “Christian”, when in reality they act as their own god.
People in this stage have accepted Christ, but haven’t moved much past that point. They can be new believers or they might be stagnant, long-time Christians. Life is generally all about them and their needs.
People in this stage are growing in their relationship with the Lord and are also beginning to grow in their relationship with other Christians. They are applying God’s Word in their life and allowing others to walk beside them in their journey following Christ. However, it’s still mostly about them – their needs, comfort, etc.
People in this stage are making a big shift from being self-centered to more others-centered. They’re beginning to understand their role as a giver, rather than a taker – ministering to others, putting others first – being doers of the Word.
People in this stage have a solid understanding of God’s Word and a deep, abiding relationship with the Father. They are living out God’s Word daily in their own life. They are others-centered and God-dependent. They are able to reproduce mature disciples of Jesus by inviting others to follow them as they follow Christ.
What are your thoughts? Is this process reproducible? Can you see the benefit of knowing these five spiritual stages? Where are you? Where are those you are discipling? How do you plan to utilize this process?
To learn more about this reproducible process please purchase the workbook, Real Life Discipleship Training Manual: Equipping Disciples Who Make Disciples by Jim Putman and others.