Exploring Nonlinear Discipleship

by | Oct 13, 2023 | Church Health, Church Planting, Discipleship

As a Christian believer, I have always believed that discipleship is a crucial part of my journey. Whether attending church services, studying the Bible, or participating in faith-based community service, I have always been eager to learn more about the teachings of Jesus. However, My journey of discipleship has been anything but linear; it resembles more of a complex jigsaw puzzle, with each piece fitting together to form a beautiful and meaningful picture. In this blog post, I would like to explore and elaborate on the benefits of nonlinear discipleship and how it can be embraced in the Christian church.


Discipleship Done Differently


Nonlinear discipleship involves a more open-ended approach that allows for flexibility and adaptation to the unique needs and situations of each individual. The problem with linear discipleship is that it can become too prescriptive, with a predetermined agenda and set of topics that may not address each individual believer’s unique challenges and questions. Remember context is everything. One size, or one way in this instance, doesn’t fit all. By contrast, nonlinear discipleship encourages exploration and discovery, where individuals are encouraged to ask questions, provide insights, and wrestle with the scripture in arriving at the truth.


Takes Place in Community… but Necessarily a Classroom


Nonlinear discipleship is best when it takes place in a community context. This can be an intentional small group, or people gathering informally around tables at church on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights. It’s about doing life together and having meaningful conversations that encourage growth and transformation in each other. While the process may be educational, nonlinear discipleship doesn’t necessarily.


Technology is a Tool. Embrace it!


Another key aspect of nonlinear discipleship is the integration of technology and digital media into the faith-based community. The rise of social media platforms, online discussion forums, and virtual Bible studies provides new opportunities for Christians to connect and grow in their faith. By embracing these tools and platforms, churches can reach a wider audience and provide more meaningful avenues for discipleship than ever before.


The Onus for Spiritual Growth


Finally, nonlinear discipleship encourages individual growth and responsibility. Since the process is self-directed, it is up to members of a faith-based community to take ownership and initiative for their own spiritual well-being. This can be done through prayer, Bible study, listening to sermons or podcasts, and engaging in worship services or church activities.

As the Christian church continues to evolve and adapt to the changing world, nonlinear discipleship presents an exciting and innovative approach to encouraging spiritual growth and community. By embracing the principles of flexibility, community, technology, and personal growth, churches and individuals alike can experience a deeper and more meaningful connection with God. As you continue on your discipleship journey, I encourage you to explore the benefits of nonlinear discipleship and see how it can benefit your faith and the larger community around you.


Read more blog post by Jeff Hoglen

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