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Measuring Discipleship

By New Churches Team

Think Biblically

The most biblical way to measure discipleship growth is measuring it against the biblical teaching. Think in terms of the description in Philippians 2:12: “Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” They are working this out on an ongoing basis. It is not completed all at one time but is an ongoing regular routine. “For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).

How Do You Measure That?

The Discipleship Pathway was developed as a tool to help individuals and churches measure discipleship growth. You can do it individually on an annual basis and compare your year-to-year growth. A church can also do it as a congregation together. As the research that launched that pathway shows, discipleship is more about a direction than a destination. But we need to be moving along in the right direction and there are markers along the way that include: Are you engaging with the Scriptures? Are you obeying God and denying self? Are you serving God and others? Are you sharing Christ? 

If you don’t use this assessment, start somewhere. Sometimes we neglect research that’s been done and decide to start from scratch. The problem is we often disciple the way we’ve been discipled, but the way we’ve been discipled may not be what’s best for every other person. Imagine discipling two different 24-year-olds. One came from a high-income family and the other grew up with a single parent working three jobs. What would be the same and what would be different in the way you discipled them? 

There are things in common that all believers need to know and grow in. We want them to all be secure in their gospel understanding of their new life in Christ. We want them to share the gospel. We want them to be people of prayer and spiritual growth. But in some places, discipleship is different based on the life skills needed. Discipleship always requires helping people grow in multiple ways. 

Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 423: Measuring Discipleship Growth. Click here to listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.

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