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The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian and is the primary agent of discipleship; but the Spirit will not usurp our will. If we don’t want Christ formed in us, then not even the Holy Spirit will make it happen. Discipleship growth requires INTENTION. And it doesn't happen overnight. Discipleship is a JOURNEY more than a destination.
WARNING: The discipleship journey can be quite messy. Becoming a mature disciple of Jesus is a long, dynamic process, powered by the Holy Spirit. There can be delays and detours, setbacks and switchbacks, along the way. People can even hit a wall and get stuck. The discipleship journey is NOT neat and linear.
Each stage highlights a unique Biblical invitation from Jesus which calls for response. Therefore, for each stage, we recommend three action steps. These steps have high potential to help you grow to the next stage. While it may not be perfect, our model helps us describe the journey of discipleship in a way that helps you make progress on it.
Come and See (John 1:39)
"I'm curious about Jesus."
Come, Follow Me (Matthew 4:19)
"I'm learning from Jesus."
Be with Me (Mark 3:14)
"I want to spend time with Jesus."
Abide in Me (John 15:4)
"I am surrendered to Jesus."
No stage is better than another, just as being an adult is no better than being a child. Each is appropriate for its stage of development. What we learn and develop at one stage, we carry with us into the next stage, just as the lessons of childhood go with us into our teen and adult years.
Also, each stage of discipleship has its gift:
"Come and See": Curiosity; fresh look at faith; keeps other stages from becoming insular
"Come, Follow Me": Service/productive life, hunger to learn, passion, drive, doers, servants
"Be with Me": Inner wisdom, remind us of the importance of “being”; more deeply understand intimacy with Christ
"Abide in Me": Surrender; model sacrificial living; being the “sages of faith”
If you would like some assistance with developing your own personal discipleship pathway, Ginny Itz, Teresa Rossy, or Chris Ferguson would be happy to help you. Please feel free to contact any of them.