A Framework for Intentional Disciple-making
(with suggested resources)
This outline, or framework, for thinking about the process of intentional disciple-making is built from historic Christian practices, Wesleyan methodologies, and contemporary applied approaches. (see below for additional reading)
The beginning point for these journey mileposts assumes that Spirit-empowered, relationship-based, faithful witness that has led these persons to consider Christian faith and community.
Each of these mileposts has a brief description, several proven factors for Christian development, and a couple of options for resources that have been found helpful in the making of disciples. These mileposts are not ‘graduation’ markers, but more like signboards indicating the way forward – “now that you have got this far, these are some of the things you will find ahead of you.”
Exploring relationship with Jesus – I’m a seeker
This describes someone who in the course of their spiritual journey has entered into some dimension of relationship with a Christian congregation. They ‘get’ the God stuff, but are wondering about everything else, including Jesus as The Way and whether Christian community is a safe place.
Growing in relationship with Jesus – I’m a Jesus follower
This describes a person who has entered into relationship with Jesus Christ. They understand and believe in Jesus as the Son of God and what his sacrifice means for forgiveness and cleansing in their lives. They are beginning to live out what it means to follow Jesus – to know him, to love him and to live with self-giving love towards one’s neighbour (family, friends, and strangers).
A close relationship with Jesus – I’m an active disciple
This person is deeply in relationship with Jesus Christ. They speak of Jesus as an active confidante in their everyday lives, depending upon him for guidance and support. They are entering deeper into life with Jesus who, by the Holy Spirit, is bringing to maturity their love for God and their loving service with their neighbours.
Jesus is the central relationship in my life – I’m a Jesus-centred, others-oriented disciple
This describes a disciple whose life has been surrendered over to God for renovation and empowerment – they are willing to risk everything. God’s priorities, values and the practices of kingdom living are becoming second nature. The fullness of God’s intentions (shalom) are becoming real in both inner and outer life desires, choices and lifestyle.