Distinctive Discipleship [Impact Conference]

We cannot depend upon widespread methods hoping to address the specific needs of everyone. Particular people require distinctive discipleship.

(This breakout session was taught at the Impact Conference at Shandon Baptist on February 17, 2022. Notes are available below and the audio recording will be posted later.)

We all have the same destination but require different directions.


  • The Great Commission calls us to make disciples – not converts.
  • Salvation is the starting line – not the finishing line.
  • If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith.
  • Much of our ministry methods employ widespread approaches with template processes.


Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).

Do you think Jesus was specific in the work He did with each disciple?

  • Peter
    • Pre-Discipleship – Matt. 16:21-23; 26:73-74; John 18:10
    • Post-Discipleship – Acts 5:29; 1 Pet. 2:21
    • Discovery: Peter’s initial pushback with Jesus seemingly always originated when suffering was involved, yet, after his time with Jesus, suffering boldly is his thematic emphasis in his teaching and ministry.
  • John
    • Pre-Discipleship – Mark 3:17; 9:38; Luke 9:54
    • Post-Discipleship – John 19:27; 1 John 4:8
    • Discovery: John’s character originally was rough and uncompassionate toward those he saw as unfit or unwelcomed, but his major emphasis later was that of sincere love for others (and good thing, since Jesus asked him to take care of His mom).


  • We have numerous programs, but what we need is a customizable process.
  • What if you could use God’s Word to create an individualized discipleship plan for every church member?
  • Within Colossians 1, we find six categories of which Paul addressed with these disciples.

To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works in me (Col. 1:27-29).

  • Delight – What do you need to focus on less so that you can delight in more of Jesus?
  • Disobedience – What besetting sin must be addressed before it unravels you?
  • Doctrine – What doctrinal issue do you need to study in order to embrace personally or share confidently?
  • Development – What do I need to mature in considering my relationships and responsibilities?
  • Discipline – What single spiritual discipline should I focus on to see significant progress?
  • Dependence – What am I praying for God to do of which only He could get the credit?

Narrow down the possibilities and make your plan by answering those six questions. Spend the next few months attempting to make progress in those specific areas. Using this plan will be good for an individual, better with a partner, but best with a mentor. Once you end the focused time period, reevaluate your spiritual condition with a new list and get going again with new emphases. Use this plan for yourself or someone you are discipling to focus your efforts.

More Discipleship Resources

Strategic Formation

No more happenstance growth, we must be intentional to experience strategic formation in our discipleship. Let your spiritually frustrated fatigue launch you out of complacency and into maturity.

Intentional Imitation

One of the most glaringly apparent omissions in our discipleship is the person doing the discipling. Our commitment to fleshing out our personal walks with Christ overlooks our need to learn from one another.

Subtle Restraints

As you attempt to follow Jesus, your motives and intentions may be exactly what they need to be, but they will be challenged by common yet successful opposition. Many disciples find themselves struggling due to these recurring issues.

Discipleship Reorientation

Most Christians can easily communicate the importance of making disciples, but few can articulate how they are personally engaging in the process. For all our numerous ministry activities, we must reorient to the task of personal discipleship.

Dull Spirituality

As Jesus often spoke in parables, it divided those who understood the truth and those who rejected it. When people’s hearts become dull, they cannot receive the blessings of God’s truth.

Your Kids Need an Intentional Home & Church

If I consider all the homes that have created a spiritually-flourishing environment, there are common characteristics. With the challenges of our society, I believe a partnered effort between the home and the church is essential for success.