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Discipleship Matrix (tool for spiritual formation)

Last week I attended a spiritual formation workshop led by Mission Alive. One of the things we talked about was what it means to both connect with people and God on a personal level. The Drinking Deeply/Bearing Fruit Matrix was presented to help us think about the areas in which we need to grow spiritually. It was helpful to me; perhaps it will be helpful for you too.


The matrix is comprised of two areas: Drinking Deeply and Bearing Fruit.

Drinking Deeply
This means intentionally communing with God through prayer, worship, meditation, Scripture reading, etc.When we drink deeply with God, his love changes us from the inside out.

Bearing Fruit
This means the external actions that flow out of your walk with God. Psalm 1:3 says that those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, “are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

The four quadrants of the matrix are explained below:

Low on Bearing Fruit; high on Drinking Deeply. Or, “Training without game”.
This is someone who spends a lot of time practicing the spiritual disciplines, but lacks the outward expressions of bearing fruit.

Low on Bearing Fruit; low on Drinking Deeply. Or, “No training, no game”.
This is someone who is ruled by selfish desires. He does whatever he wants to.

High on Bearing Fruit; low on Drinking Deeply. Or, “Game without training.”
This is someone who focuses on a lot of activity and connection with people, but does not have a deep relationship with God.

High on Bearing Fruit; high on Drinking Deeply. Or, “Training for the game.”
This is someone who connects with both God and people. It is the ideal place to be if we want to effectively disciple others.

Where are you now on the quadrant? What can you do to move more fully into Discipleship?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. gailynvanrheenen #

    Wow, this was a powerful presentation. How will you use this in your church planting?

    October 19, 2013
    • Thanks, Gailyn. It is a good tool to use for personal spiritual formation. Where we are, where we want to go, and how to get there.

      October 19, 2013

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