A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ.
At Chapelwood, we describe a disciple as a person following Jesus on a journey of deepening connection with God, which makes a difference in four key relationships in their lives -- with God, others, self, and creation.
Discipleship, also called spiritual formation, is the process of transformation that takes place when our inner self becomes the home of Jesus; and therefore, our thoughts, words, and deeds become more characteristic of Jesus. Paul says it this way, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
Discipleship is a journey.
Spiritual growth is dynamic, not static; it is personal, not uniform or cookie cutter. Journeys move toward a destination. The discipleship journey leads to the destination of a transformed self. This change toward Christlikeness makes a difference in the four key relationships which were all broken by the disobedience of our spiritual grandparents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). The lives of mature disciples are characterized by observable differences. They are submitted to and honoring of God every moment. Disciples manifest fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22).
The pathway is not straight.
The Holy Spirit lives in every Christian and is the primary agent of discipleship; but the Spirit will not usurp a person’s will. If a person does not want Christ formed within, then not even the Holy Spirit will make it happen. Discipleship growth requires intention and time.
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 as a result of life circumstances and human sinfulness along the way. It’s possible to hit a wall and get stuck. The discipleship journey is NOT neat and linear.
Your journey is characterized by stages.
Each stage highlights a unique Biblical invitation from Jesus which calls for response. No stage is better than another, just as being an adult is no better than being a child. 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.
As you explore My Next Steps, you will see that we recommend three possible action steps for each stage.
These steps have high potential to help you grow to the next stage.
To find your NEXT STEP, you'll want to know your starting point.
The Next Step Map helps you identify your "home" stage. Each row lists general descriptions of each stage. Identify the one, or two, responses in each row that most reflects who you are today. Your "home" stage is the column with the most circles. To confirm the results, you can read the Stages of Discipleship which describe what discipleship looks like at all four stages.
WHEN YOU HAVE FOUND THE STAGE THAT FEELS LIKE “HOME" FOR YOU, CLICK ON THAT STAGE'S NAME ON THE BUTTONS
TO THE LEFT OR BELOW
You will find three recommended NEXT STEPS for that stage. Each step you take will lead you to the next stage on your unique discipleship journey.
If you would like some assistance with developing your own personal discipleship pathway, Teresa Rossy,
would be happy to help you.