Defining Discipleship

If we are to assess ourselves accurately in the area of our discipleship, we need to know what standard we are measuring ourselves against. Just as an archer must know what the target looks like and where it is in order to hit it accurately, we need some external reference for what a disciple looks like. In other words, we need to know clearly what we are aiming for in our discipleship in order to have any real chance of hitting it.

Without defining discipleship, a clear picture of what a disciple looks like, we are left to guess. None of us are perfect ourselves; we each have our blind spots. As we live our own life of discipleship– and as we disciple others– we tend to focus on our strengths and avoid areas where we are weak. We need an objective picture of what a disciple looks like in order to avoid simply projecting our own preferences.

Fortunately, we have the portrait of Jesus provided by the four gospel accounts to serve as our guide. This picture was our essential starting point in developing The Dimensions of Discipleship, represented on the tree below. We began by looking at the reported behaviors of Jesus. From there, we put together a composite picture that holistically reflects those components. The result is a much clearer picture of what it means to live and love like Jesus did.

Defining Discipleship

The Disciple Assessment provides 360 degree feedback in each of these areas from:

    • Family/Friends
    • Group/team members
    • Spiritual leader
    • People you influence, disciple or lead
    • Yourself

We have resources to help you in defining discipleship. Walk through each of the 8 dimensions of discipleship represented on the tree by reading the posts below: