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Intentional Discipleship Begins with You

spiritual growth

A study of 4,000 people by LifeWay Research identified eight attributes of discipleship. These are attributes of believers who are growing spiritually. They eight attributes of a maturing believer are:

  1. Bible engagement
  2. Obeying God and denying self
  3. Serving God and others
  4. Sharing Christ
  5. Exercising faith
  6. Seeking God
  7. Building relationships
  8. Unashamed transparency

The study indicated that spiritual growth does not happen by accident, but is intentional. However, not all believers instinctively know how to grow. It takes guidance from church leaders and other disciples of Jesus. This means that we also have to be intentional about helping others grow spiritually. This is also what I found in my research on discipleship.

Using the eight attributes as starting points, we can guide others to spiritual growth by helping them practice spiritual disciplines, such as Bible study and prayer. We can also help people exercise their faith by giving them service opportunities in their communities and by teaching them to intentionally build authentic relationships with people. When relationships are built, discipleship is the natural result. However, as I constantly communicate with my own church, we must serve and develop relationships with others with no strings attached, just as Jesus did.

Take a look at your church and determine which of these eight attributes are weakest. You may want to have your church take the Transformational Discipleship Assessment, which is available for a fee from LifeWay. Once you have decided which attribute the majority of the people in your church struggle with, you can focus your time and energy on helping them grow in that specific area.

Effective leaders model spiritual maturity to their followers. So, it is imperative for you to first be aware of your own weaknesses and begin working on them.

What attribute do you struggle with the most and what can you do to improve it?

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rachel Taylor #

    Hello there,
    May i be honest with you though? I was just talking to God though and if im not mistaken you mentioned something similar though i know im fully saved. I may need to check my relationship with God but i havent been working for some years now im in my mid twenties and i am now a single parent , now i have struggled for years watching leaders or christians as it were turn there back on me in my dark moments and even now i still have not been able to come out of some darkness I was told by a woman of God that he s taking me this route to end in a testimony and sometimes even certain things get rme depressed, i have alot i can use his word and declare but over time of not seeing much when others tend to always have ahead start over you and can go forward i feel forced in a position to go backward to do thing si know i m not to.l ike stealing , then with it comes lying and i having a hard time cope and have n ot a friend left to count on my finger , its hard to lift my head to even go to his word and beleive him , i more struggling to keep in his word in faith as i m not very happy that i m in so much things for so long and cant have my own my daughter is growing fast.

    December 10, 2012
    • Rachel,
      Thank you for your transparency. Trusting God, and others, during tough times is not easy. Remember that God is with you all the time and will never let you down. He has blessed you with a daughter, a caring friend, and intelligence. God loves you and cares for you. He has carried you through your darkest times and is still working in you. Your friend is right: you have a powerful testimony. You can use your story to encourage and give hope to others, including your daughter. God certainly has a plan for you!

      Romans 8:38-39

      Shawn

      December 10, 2012
  2. Dan Black on Leadership #

    Great statistics. I think all are essential when it comes to living a God centered and significant life. I think the main one I need to work on is sharing my faith. I live out my faith through example but need to become more intentional about sharing it with others. Great post.

    December 11, 2012
    • Thanks Dan. Intentionality is a big key, isn’t it? Blessings to you.

      December 11, 2012
      • Dan Black on Leadership #

        It sure is.

        December 11, 2012

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  1. Leading Posts for the week of 12/3/12 | Leading Everyday

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