Discipleship Assessment of Spiritual Condition of Disciplees
In other posts we've looked at what discipleship is, objectives of discipling others, and how networks of disciplers tend to be most effective. (Scroll down for links to those posts.) Even with all that in place, we can still miss the mark if we don't take time to assess the spiritual condition of disciplees and then base our discipleship efforts on that assessment.
Effective Discipleship Requires Assessing the Condition of the Flock
To know the condition of the sheep as suggested in Proverbs 27:23, you must be observant and discerning. You must give careful and attentive consideration to a number of factors in their lives:
- their walk with God
- their spiritual gifting, passions, personality, experience
- their learning style
- their age level
- their physical, emotional, and mental needs along with the spiritual
In addition to the content on this page, the Shepherding Ministry Manual briefly expounds on the above factors. It also includes a page with questions to help you further reflect on and evaluate your discipleship practices in light of the content in this section.
Base How You Disciple on your Assessment of the Spiritual Condition of Disciplees:
Using this understanding, consider how you may "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Heb. 10:24). Begin where they are with what is most needed or focus on that more than other areas.
The condition of the flock should set the agenda for discipleship, not your own desires nor a program.
- Personalize what you do to your people. Using a course of study or curriculum is helpful in keeping you from neglecting important areas but you need to be flexible with it. Don't get boxed in with the plan to the point where the program is more important than the people.
- Pull out principles from what others have written or are doing but tailor what you do to your unique setting, to the condition of your flock.