Nonlinear Discipleship

by | Nov 8, 2019 | Church Leadership

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we approach discipleship in the church. What discipleship methods have I used in the churches I’ve planted?  And what has my own personal discipleship journey looked like?

My own journey has not been very linear—more like a jigsaw puzzle. God will point something out over here and I work on that for a while. Then something else comes up and I focus on a different place in my discipleship. Then I move back over to what I was doing before, but this time more pieces are in place so progress goes along more quickly.

Yet in spite of the back-and-forth nature of it, the process is not without a plan. The picture on the jigsaw puzzle box tells me what the finished product is supposed to look like. I know what I’m moving toward, even if I don’t get there precisely one row at a time.

The way God does discipleship isn’t linear—it’s mosaic. The problem with the discipleship strategies most of us church planters use is that we’re determining the agenda beforehand. We decide in advance what issues and topics should be addressed and when. It’s good to have a plan—I like planning. And it’s definitely good to have a very clear picture of what a disciple is supposed to look like so we know what we’re moving toward.

But what if we used a different process to get there? A process that flexes according to what we are hearing from the Holy Spirit in the context of community?

I hosted a webinar on this topic a while back.  A downloadable recording and participant guide that you can use with your team for planning is available for sale at 

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