Distinctive Discipleship

If every Christian is in a unique place surrounded by specific challenges, why do we think that a widespread approach will work for every single one of us? The Distinctive Discipleship model seeks to help you design a specific plan for Christian maturity.

You can begin to grow again. If you are reading this article, there is no requirement that you must remain spiritually stuck! Jesus calls us to follow Him which implies continual progress.

So where do you need to progress now? That’s what this whole plan is about. If you are like me, you probably have numerous places you need to grow, but let’s settle in just a few. Six to be exact.

Based on the example Paul gave in Colossians 1:27-29, the model incorporates six categories to use as a framework in discipleship. Serving as a filter with which to narrow down your process, you will create a seasonal plan to work on distinct areas.

The Six Categories

27 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. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Colossians 1:27-29
  1. Delight – What do you delight in more than Jesus, and what can you do to push back that rival?
  2. Disobedience – What weak and sinful area in your life must be addressed now?
  3. Doctrine – What is one key biblical doctrine that you could develop in for the next few months?
  4. Development – What is one key area that you need to grow in regarding your calling and surrounding?
  5. Discipline – What is one key spiritual discipline that you could plan to improve?
  6. Dependence – What is one thing you are praying about that only God can do?


Fill out your Distinctive Discipleship worksheet and get started designing your specific plan.

More Resources

There are numerous ways to unpack this process more. I am listing them below. When I showed this to a new friend recently who mentors churches in creating discipleship programs, he remarked, “What I love about this model is that it is a process and not a program.”

Yes! That’s what my prayer has been! Take where you are, evaluate where you need to go, and get there over time.

I want to encourage you in one final thing if you go deeper. Creating a personal discipleship plan is good for an individual, better with a partner, but best with a mentor. Any options are better than no options, but complete discipleship requires a mentor investing in you.

Available Now

The Distinctive Discipleship book will guide you through the process of creating a specific plan for Christian maturity.

The Distinctive Discipleship Bible Study is an 8-week guide for small groups to go through in developing their plans. 

These can be done separately or supplement each other’s material.

For more information, you can listen to sermons below or connect with other resources.

Sermon Series

Interested in watching or listening to the sermon series on Distinctive Discipleship? You can check them out below.

Help for the Uniquely Stagnate Christian

If you feel like you are stuck in your Christian walk, then it is time to start moving again. The solution for spiritual stagnation is distinctive discipleship.

Delight: Finding Your Necessary Motive

If unhealthy expectations fuel our reasoning for spiritual growth, we will eventually stall out. Our growth must be motivated by delight rather than obligation.

Disobedience: Confronting Your Sinful Leanings

While we all struggle with sin, we are each prone to wander in different ways. For those confronting disobedience in their own lives, God provides a path of escape through every temptation.

Doctrine: Strengthening Your Uncertain Beliefs

While we all know some degree of biblical knowledge, we each should probably know a little bit more by now. Committed disciples need to strengthen any uncertain beliefs by targeted study.

Development: Cultivating Your Needed Maturity

God has created us for and called us to unique tasks. As particularly gifted and positioned disciples, we each should pursue the needed maturity to do what God has called us to accomplish.

Discipline: Training Your Soul’s Habits

God has created us for and called us to unique tasks. As particularly gifted and positioned disciples, we each should pursue the needed maturity to do what God has called us to accomplish.

Dependence: Acknowledging Your Desperate Need

In our discipleship efforts, we never reach the point where we can depend upon our own strength. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing.

The Progression of Faith

If there is a true profession of faith, there should be a true progression of faith. While you have not arrived at complete spiritual maturity yet, you should be making progress.