Like most of us, for many years, I never really sat down and asked myself, “What does a disciple look like?” Instead, I just passed on to others the things that were helping me to follow Jesus. That’s good, but not very thorough.
In their book THE DISCIPLESHIP DIFFERENCE, Bob Logan and Charles Ridley point out that “we tend to focus on our strengths and avoid areas where we are weak … [therefore] We need an objective picture of what a disciple looks like in order to avoid simply projecting our own preferences” (p.24)
In the third chapter Logan and Ridley suggest eight dimensions of a disciple, which are illustrated by the TREE OF DISCIPLESHIP diagram (above) and then explained individually (below).
“EXPERIENCING GOD: Intentionally and consistently engaging with God in such a way that you open yourself to a deeper understanding of him and deeper relationship with him.”
“SPIRITUAL RESPONSIVENESS: Actively listening to the Holy Spirit and taking action according to what you are hearing.”
“SACRIFICIAL SERVICE: Doing good works even when it’s costly, inconvenient or challenging.”
“GENEROUS LIVING: Faithfully stewarding what God has given you so you can contribute toward the advancement of the Kingdom.”
“DISCIPLEMAKING: Living in obedience to the great commission given by Jesus, which entails making more and better followers of Christ.”
“PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION: Changing your attitudes and behaviors in positive ways as a result of your relationship with God and others.”
“AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS: Engaging with other people in ways that reflect the heart of God toward them.”
“COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION: Personal involvement with others to facilitate positive change where you live and beyond.”
(from chapter 3 of THE DISCIPLESHIP DIFFERENCE by Bob Logan and Charles Ridley)
Over the next few weeks we will dig a little deeper into each of these dimensions of discipleship. This will help us to understand them better. Most importantly, we want to explore together how we can help the followers of Jesus that we are working with to embrace and exhibit these eight characteristics.
WHAT ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS WOULD YOU ADD TO THE TREE OF DISCIPLESHIP?
WHICH OF THE CHARACTERISTICS DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE STRONGEST IN IMPARTING TO OTHERS?
WHICH CHARACTERISTICS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK HARDER TO IMPART?