Genesis Church Discipleship Grid

For the past several months we have been embarking on a journey to think about how we as a church will intentionally pursue Jesus’ Great Commissin found in Matthew 28:16-20. We see His words as the marching order for our church, and therefore our mission and purpose revolves around being a church on mission for the Great Commission.  If you read this the task is clear, we are to make disciples. So we have been sharing our recipe, the mixing of 10 ingredients we believe are essential and therefore of which we must be intentional about investing in the lives of people.  In the sermon today we shared 8 discipleship stages. This document then reveals our discipleship grid.  We desire this be used for years to come to think strategically about our mission as a church and for every ministry to utilize as they plan and evaluate their ministry.

Matheteúo (Greek for Disciple) – A follower or learner of another’s doctrine. The idea means not only to learn, but to become attached to one’s teacher and to become his follower in doctrine and conduct of life. (Word Study Dictionary of NT, Zodiates)

Our definition of a disciple – A disciple is a follower of Jesus who is ever growing in their application of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.


1. Gospel Clarity & Fluency – Disciples need foremost and consistently to be reminded of the central truth of the Gospel, and shown that their identity and acceptance before God is always based on the finished work of Jesus. In other words, they need the Gospel “beat into their heads continually.”

2. Passion – We become what we love. Every activity in the Christian life should flow out of our love for Jesus. Whenever my spiritual activities become mundane, or I do them out of duty, they will accomplish nothing. But when my obedience and service flow from a growing love relationship with my Creator and His Son Jesus, then spiritual activities and service will change my life. (Deuternomy 6:15, 10:12)

3. Stewardship – God owns everything. A steward is a person who has been entrusted with someone else’s property. First, God has entrusted us with our own lives, but we are not our own. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God has also given us time, talents, and treasures, that he invested in us for His purposes (see the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30). God made everything, owns everything, and by His grace, allows us to enjoy it. (Deuternonomy 8:17-18, Psalm 24:12)
4. Disciplines – Discipleship involves the means of grace a person will need to involve in his or her life to grow in the Christian life. The goal is to move people from having their growth feed from a bottle, to self feeding, to being a person who can feed others. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)

A list of disciplines
• Use of Scripture – the discipline of Bible intake and application
Bible reading
Doing the Word
• Prayer – the discipline of talking to God
• Worship – The discipline of giving praise and thanksgiving to God, both private and corporate
• Witness – the discipline of sharing one’s faith
• Generosity – the discipline of giving
• Fasting – the discipline of abstinence
• Silence & solitude – the discipline of shutting down
• Journaling – the discipline of writing for growth and intimacy
• Listening & learning – the discipline of having ears to hear

5. Body life – God’s means for making disciples is the local church. Growth as a disciple cannot happen apart from a person finding their place in the body, and actively participating in the gathering and using their gifts in the ministry of the local church. (Romans 12:3-5, Ephesians 4:15-16)

6. Community – Discipleship in the Scriptures is never an individual event, it is a team sport. First of all, God has ordained that our growth happens in community. This is modeled in Jesus’ calling of the 12. Second, growth in the Christian life happens in the context of deep and meaningful relationships as people seek to follow Jesus together. Third, it is the authentic love found within community that images the glory of God to the outside world.

7. Holiness – Disciples are people who are growing in the character of Jesus, who more and more are demonstrating the morality and values found in Scripture in their personal lives. This involves our sexual ethics, integrity and honesty, kindness, demonstrating justice, and care for our neighbor. (1 Peter 1:13-16)

8. Theological Formation – It is God’s design that the church teach people the great truths about God so that people will authentically worship God, standing in awe of His person and work. New disciples will probably need these truths taught on a simple level, but the goal is that they will begin to embrace the faith once for all delivered to the saints, be able to teach it to others, and be able to spot a counterfeit. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

9. Mission & Ministry – Disciples have Spiritual gifts, and part of growing is to use these gifts for the building up of the body of Christ and advancing of Christ’s Kingdom. Any approach to discipleship that creates people who only sit and learn will create top-heavy Christians.

10. Witness – Love for neighbor includes the desire to see them come to Christ. The discipleship found in the Gospels and lived out in Acts is clear, that those who have the Spirit will be Christ’s witnesses. Discipleship in the church must include both equipping and motivation for this task. (1 Peter 3:15)

Now that we have thought about the ingredients necessary in the lives of those who follow Jesus, we now want to think about the different stages of spiritual formation and how the church should understand the needs of people in each of these stages. Many of these stages correspond with the stages of human development, yet the goal is not to speak of people at developmental stages but in terms of where they are in the path of Spiritual growth and development.

The goal for the church is to have a disciple making culture where we make disciples who then make disciples, who then make disciples.

1. Uningaged and uninterested – people in the community and world who have no interest in Jesus or his church right now.

2. Seekers – Those who do not know Jesus, but are on a spiritual journey. We can think of discipleship with seekers as followers of Jesus build Gospel relationships. And we can think of discipleship with seekers as we consider their experience as they visit church or connect to an event or Community Group.

3.Church folk – This is a category you probably didn’t consider. But we must be intentional to disciples people who come to Genesis from other churches, and who have a background in the church. The danger here is assuming these people know the Gospel, and actually believe. These people often also need to be discipled into the mission of the church as an expression of Jesus’ Kingdom.

4. Babies – New Believers, need someone to change their diapers and feed them. They don’t really know anything in the “ingredients”, and need it spoon fed.

5. Children – People who are learning to self-feed, do basic things for themselves. But they need lots of training and are still focused on themselves.
this stage

6. Teens – These people have come to a point where they can own their own most of their discipleship and growth. But they still oversleep and miss the bus sometimes.

7. Adults – Not only are they ready to do discipleship for themselves, but they can reproduce, have babies. They are disciples who are ready to make disciples.

8. Elders, Deacons & Leaders – People who are mature, grown up, and active in discipling others. These are disciples who make disciples, and can lead systems and people.

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