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 โ€“ not converts.
  • Salvation is the starting line โ€“ 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 Godโ€™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

Christians Should Be Different

Christianity is getting a bad reputation because too many disciples fail to show any distinguishing characteristics from the world. Jesus has saved us from sin but also to a new way of living.

The Great Decommission

The job is incomplete when someone comes to faith in Christ. Discipleship โ€“ and not conversion โ€“ is the goal.

Neglected Efforts

We often miss development to grow, not because we lack opportunities, but because we aren’t putting in the required effort. God gives us gifts, but we have to use them.

Vision + Mission 2023

Our church desires to take the Great Commission seriously and do our part to make disciples with all the opportunities given. We are prayerfully working toward some milestones in the coming year for the gospel’s sake.

Incapable Saviors and Wannabe Lords

John 21:1-25 โ€“ After Jesus’ resurrection, He regathered His disciples to reinstate and redirect them. We must remove substitutes from our lives to ensure we are following after the truly Matchless One.

Matchless One

John 4:4-30 โ€“ Jesus encountered a woman with inaccurate beliefs and immoral behavior, He sought to help her find peace in both areas. Jesus is not afraid to address the critical areas until His role in our lives is unmatched.