A Path, A Promise, & A Process

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

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.

A Promise

If STAGES is our path where people find themselves, then Growth Rhythms, as used by the Holy Spirit, are what move people along from their starting point to Jesus transformation.  Like your GPS device that asks you to follow specific directions, we make a promise that if people commit to these rhythms with a sincere heart, they will grow towards Jesus transformation.
We never lose sight that we don’t cause our own growth but God does.  At the same time, God always wants us to grow.  When we’re stuck it’s because we’re gumming up the works on our end.  Growth rhythms are a commitment to hear trust and obey God in multiple ways to clear the path for our growth.  They are the behaviors and disciplines of growing people that shape heart attitudes.  To see a full explanation of Growth Rhythms, click here.

A Process

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.

Many first time disciple makers find this process useful for managing their time with people they are investing in.  It tends to keep the conversation on track and always shoots towards applying lessons learned into our Growth Rhythms.  For a full explanation on how Meet-Up’s work and to download a Meet-Up guide, click here.
If you’re using something other than STAGES, I would love to hear how you are providing a path, a promise, and a process to those you are leading.
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