The Stages of Discipleship

Discipleship in essence is training.
Trainers of disciples deliberately cause Christ's disciples to learn.

By studying the stages of discipleship, we can better perceive the important training takes place in the local church. As we can see from this three-stage model of 1 John 2:12-14, the discipling process never stops. ADT provides training for those who have already showed themselves mature in faith and service.

Three stages of discipleship with ADT

oneDiscipleship for
new Christians

Trains the new Christian for basic Christian living and faith. This is a wonderful opportunity that many new Christians never have.

twoDiscipleship for
personal growth

Equips Christians to grow in their personal lives by overcoming temptation and applying God’s Word to their personal lives such as their marriage, devotions and personal relationships.

threeDiscipleship for
Christian service

Equips Christian to grow in their service of one another by overcoming temptation and applying God’s Word to the different opportunities of service God might provide them.

fourDiscipleship for

Advanced discipleship enables more mature Christians to stay focused in their love and commitment to God. This Christ-oriented training integrates learning of the heart, head and hand (skill).

By sending our workers to seminary and hiring those from seminary to fill our needed staff positions, we have basically acknowledged that our churches are not in the training business. We make those who are burdened with full time ministry to seek their own way.

The New Testament, however, provides us with a different model where new leaders spring out from an existing ministry. The university model continues to disable the local church’s vision for leadership training by focusing on gaining knowledge rather than training, developing the mind rather than the heart, advancing research rather than practicum.

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Discipleship training cd

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Paul J. Bucknell