This is a question we hear a lot as we visit churches and talk with pastors and denominational leaders. The undercurrent is, “We are doing the stuff. We are doing our program. Why aren’t people responding with some kind of tangible life change or outreach?” These are important questions but the focus is on something that is outside of our control; people’s response. God requires you to be faithful, but God brings the growth. So the first step is refocusing the question to look at what you can do to bring about transformation in your community. Instead of asking “Where is the growth?” we can ask “How can I best be faithful to the process?”

clearer vision transformation

How can I help people grow as disciples in ways that really make a difference? 

The Apostle Paul dealt with the same question in Corinth: “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.  I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (I Corinthians 3:5-7)

So how are you helping people grow in discipleship? How are you even communicating what discipleship is and what it looks like– in a way people can understand and emulate? 

5 Essential Expressions of Transformation

Growing as a disciple of Jesus means changing your attitudes and behaviors in positive ways as a result of your relationship with God and others. Inward change and outward change take place in tandem; each affects the other. Are we really changing? What does deep change look like? How do we know if we are experiencing it? Can we tell the difference between deep change and just going through the motions?

The five essential expressions of the deep personal transformation of discipleship are: 

  1. Actively engaging with God in the examination of your heart
  2. Cooperating with God’s healing work in your life
  3. Processing feedback and input from others
  4. Living out new priorities and changed behavior
  5. Increasingly bearing the fruit of the Spirit


Want some help engaging your congregation in the work of transformation? Each resource below was developed specifically to help leaders come alongside others to help them grow as disciples of Christ. 

FREE – The Map of Discipleship is a great tool to help you identify where someone is on their spiritual journey and help them determine where God might want them to grow next. 

The Guide for Discipling – Discipleship by nature, is as non-linear as people are diverse. Two big challenges in discipleship are the ability to identify the best starting point for each person and measuring their growth. With this in mind, Bob Logan dove into the scriptures to look hard at the areas Jesus focused on in his ministry and identified 8 areas that Jesus encouraged his disciples to grow. The Guide for Discipling was developed to make discipleship applicable to anyone no matter where they are in their spiritual journey. It also provides a metric for measuring progress and offers guidance for next steps. Available in print, or as a licensed download so leaders can reproduce pages for the people they are working with. We’ve worked with several denominations to customize guides to work within their customs and vernacular, you can find them HERE.

To download a complete list of our suggested discipleship resources, click HERE.

Photo by Danka & Peter on Unsplash