Be A Disciple, Make A Disciple: The Stages of Growth

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18

God longs for us to GROW in GRACE and KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ.  This week we’ll explore “GROW.”  Next week, we’ll consider “GRACE” and “KNOWLEDGE.”

I’m not into growing plants, but I enjoy the benefit of living with someone who is. It’s great to watch the plants under the watchful eye and attentive care of a “gardener” naturally progress through the stages of growth.

I find it interesting that in the “sprouting” stage seeds have all the nutrients they need to germinate and begin growing.  When a seed becomes a “seedling” it spreads its root system to quickly absorb nutrients in order to grow into its “vegetative” stage where it produces stalks and foliage. Once the plant starts “budding” it begins its reproductive cycle resulting in “flowering” and “fruiting.”

Plants — quite naturally — given the right conditions and the right care will grow through all the stages of growth. The same is true for us as disciples following Jesus. We, too, will grow naturally and progress through all the stages of growth given the right conditions and care.

The Bible is clear that we begin our life of following Jesus as spiritual babies — “infants” — when we are “born again.”  With the “pure milk of the Word” infants become “children” who learn to feed themselves (i.e. read the Bible), talk (i.e. pray), and walk (i.e. obey in love). Eventually, the process of growth leads the disciple to become an “adult” who assumes responsibility not only for themselves but also for others. Finally, as God guides and provides adults become “parents” who reproduce infants and mentor children.

Here’s the point:  growth is a natural by-product of God’s activity in the life of a disciple.  There’s progress, movement, and development that is aided by the watchful attention of a disciple-maker.

  • At what stage are you in the process of disciple growth?
  • Are you stuck in a stage or are you moving towards maturity?
  • Have you seen “new births” as a result of you sharing your faith?
  • With whom are you spending time to mentor them in their disciple life?

Pray that God will give you the grace and knowledge that you need to grow as a disciple and disciple-maker.

Check out these stages, by looking through Sunday’s slides.  Be sure to check in next week to see the means by which God grows us.

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