Years ago, when I was an 8th grader, I wanted to grow and gain muscle. I wanted to get stronger and bigger. I got a set of barbells and went to work. I took the weights outside on our back porch and started doing what I thought would get results. Believe it or not, I did get some results… at least to a point. Eventually, I hit a wall, and my results slowed to a crawl. I soon realized I needed a better plan. I needed a partner to support me, and I needed a place that would inspire me. In time, I joined a fitness center and was given a workout plan, found people to work with, and was in a place inspiring me to work out harder.
I have since learned that there are three things every disciple can benefit from regarding their spiritual development. Everyone who desires to grow deeper and stronger spiritually needs a plan for growth, people to support their growth, and a place to inspire growth. These three things are precisely what Jesus gave His disciples when they walked alongside Him.
A plan for growth! The growth plan Jesus gave His disciples was His own life. As the living Word, Jesus provided His disciples with the model they needed to follow in order to become fully trained disciples of Christ. Being with Jesus for three years was the only curriculum needed to paint a picture of Christlike character and conduct.
Today, we need a plan to grow in Christlike character and conduct. We need to understand who Christ was and what He did. Jesus is the example every disciple needs to follow. Jesus is the growth plan for disciples.
People for support! You can work out by yourself, but you will always get better results when you have the support of other people to help you. That’s a big reason why God created the Church to begin with. The Church is a place filled with people to help you grow. The right people in your life can help hold you accountable, help you carry the load when you it gets too heavy, and give you encouragement when you feel weak. Jesus developed His disciples in community for a reason. He knew the twelve would help support each other.
A place that inspires! You can work out in your basement, garage, or in a state-of-the-art fitness center. The fitness center might be your best bet. Having great equipment and being surrounded by other people who are qualified trainers can provide an environment that brings out the best in you. The fitness center environment is likely a lot more inspiring than your spare bedroom.
Jesus developed His disciples with a plan, people, and place in mind. Those same three things will benefit us as we grow as His followers! At Impact Discipleship Ministries, we exist to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples. If you want to learn more about being a disciple-making church, contact us at impactdisciples.com.