Every time you use the GPS function on your phone your device is modelling intentional, personal discipleship for you. It’s creating a path from where you are to where you want to be. When you click “Go” you’re entering a covenant that promises to get you where you want to go if you follow specific directions. You’re also interacting with an interface that shows you real-time, step by step directions. It works because your device creates a path, makes a promise, and commits to a step by step process. Intentional and personal discipleship relationships should work the same way.
A path is only as good as its ability to connect where someone currently is to where they need to be. The same can be said of our discipleship efforts. People are all over the map as far as where they start spiritually. Some are new believers who have just recently crossed the border from darkness to light. Some are making that transition still. Others have been in church for a long time and feel stuck. Effective discipleship starts right where people are. Your discipleship efforts will only be as personal as the starting points you provide for people.
The ability to clearly articulate the final destination of discipleship is critical to everyone involved. It’s how everyone gets on the same page. Discipleship is specifically a direction towards Jesus transformation. Becoming more Christlike is the only biblical destination for discipleship. Your discipleship efforts will only be as effective as the clarity of your final destination- Christ-likeness.
The STAGES pathway helps us provide both a clear starting point for everyone and a clear destination for those who want to grow. If you’re interested in seeing the path we use and how it starts right where people are and ends with Jesus transformation, click here.
If STAGES is our path, and Growth Rhythms are our promise, then Meet-Ups are our process that help people invest in their growth. We have a particular way of teaching/training people to develop growth rhythms. It takes into account that people tend to drift in their discipleship gatherings toward just chatting or just studying or just action. Meet-Up Guides help create a balance between talking about our ups and downs, looking to God’s Word for truth, and creating an action plan to grow. The lessons we provide for each stage plug into our Meet-Up guides.