The Eight ‘Ds’ of Personal Discipleship

Posted: January 22, 2011 in Ministry

I like clarity.
When I see and read articles that are clear, I tend to gravitate to them in a greater way and remember them better.

Here is an article I read that I thought was clear and simple, and thought it would be good to pass on to you.  So, grab a short cup of coffee, sit back, read, and allow the Spirit to cause you to think through these areas in your own life…

The Eight ‘Ds’ of Personal Discipleship

Written by David Francis

As the beginning of a new year approaches you may consider making some resolutions, such as resisting bad habits, reestablishing good ones, or recommitting yourself more fully to a practice or cause. Sunday School leaders should especially review what it means to be a disciple of Jesus apart from their roles of helping others follow Him more closely. Here’s a simple process I hope you’ll find helpful to take a spiritual inventory of yourself as a disciple.

Devote yourself to being a disciple. This first step is a definite decision that must be renewed daily. Perhaps you prefer a word like “decide” or “dedicate” or “determine.” I like the word “devote” because it reminds me to start my day with a “devotional!”

Declare your identity in Christ. Your life will lack spiritual power if you lack assurance of God’s love for you demonstrated by His adoption of you in Christ. Thank Him daily that He loves you and claim what the Bible says about who you are as a member of His eternal household.

Develop spiritual disciplines. The most foundational of these disciplines includes spending time with God, hearing from Him through the Bible and talking – and listening – to Him through prayer. Need a place to start? Read the chapter of Proverbs corresponding to the date.

Display Christlike character. A disciple will increasingly think and act like Christ. The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) provides a good inventory of Christlike characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith[fullness], gentleness, and self-control.

Defend your faith. You don’t have to be an expert in apologetics, but you should be able to tell how your story intersects God’s Story, graciously “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6) and do so with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:16).

Disciple others, beginning with your own household.  Discipleship begins at home (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Perhaps beyond your own household, you may be able to develop a one-to-one relationship with a newer believer. Or, you could begin leading a discipleship group (D-group) at your church, at work, or in your home.

Deploy your gifts in missional ministry. If you are a believer, God has entrusted you with at least one spiritual gift and expects you to use it for His glory in speech or service (1 Peter 4:7-11). Can you readily answer the question, “What’s your ministry?” If not, good New Year’s resolution may be to find out.

Depend desperately on the Holy Spirit. His filling is your lifeline – every day, every hour, every minute. For what purpose? May I recommend that you read an entire book of the Bible to discover part of the answer? It’s 25 verses of the letter from Jude, especially the final two verses!
As always, I would love your feedback…so take a moment and share with me your thoughts below…

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