If you and/or your church do not exhibit at least the first three of the following traits, it usually indicates the need for discipleship:
- SHARING: NUTURING SPIRITUAL INFANTS
- Connecting: Guiding spiritual children
- Ministering: Training spiritual young adults
- Discipling: Releasing spiritual parents
What is a spiritual infant? The following words best describe the first stage of a disciple's life:
- Ignorance: This is a disciple who lacks sufficient knowledge of the Bible. He or she does not know what he or she does not know regarding biblical beliefs. This disciple is unaware of the steps towards ultimately becoming a spiritual parent.
- Confusion: A spiritual infant struggles with sin, unable to overcome temptations. He or she does not know how to replace old, familiar habits with those of a more mature disciple.
- Dependence: Similar to an infant who is totally dependent on one's parents for meeting his or her needs, a spiritual infant is dependent on someone else rather than the Holy Spirit for spiritual growth.
Here is Paul's description of a spiritual infant, "Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men?" (I Corinthians 3:1-5).
Do you, a friend, and/or your church need discipleship? Contact TDM to learn more!
In my next blog post I will describe a spiritual child from a biblical perspective. Here is an appetizer from Hebrews 5:12-14, "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Taken from Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual by Jim Putman, Avery T. Willis Jr., Brandon Guindon, and Bill Krause. Copyright © 2010 by Jim Putman, Avery T. Willis Jr., Brandon Guindon, and Bill Krause. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.