Cookie Cutter Discipleship Doesn’t Work

You are not in the same spiritual situation as anyone else in the world. While you have common characteristics with others, your unique scenario requires an individualized focus to make personal progress.

God is so intentional that he never utilizes a template that he forces upon each one of us. He is a purposeful Father who knows how to care for every single one of his children. God knows where you are right now, and he also knows the specific steps that you need to take next.

If God didn’t use a cookie-cutter approach when he created us, why then would we use generic efforts to disciple one another now?

Since there are so many needs, we often attempt a one-size-fits-all system. Most of our efforts in churches center around shotgun approaches with sincere hopes of impacting the majority of people. While this well-intended approach is logical reasoning, the process is not accomplishing satisfactory spiritual results. 

  • A sermon is a powerful medium to disperse information, but it is not ideal for the direct oversight of personal application. That is why relying solely on sermon series to fix discipleship problems will never fully succeed.
  • The best curriculum in the world can steadily advance the theological formation of the groups in your church, but it cannot address every need present in every single room.
  • While every believer can benefit from solid teaching on any specific biblical topic at any given time, each person has immediate critical needs that may never be addressed within a church’s life cycle of sermons, groups, courses, or events.

The realist in me wants to rely on mass efforts, but the idealist in me cannot escape this truth – our discipleship efforts require distinct approaches. While mass appeals will produce positive trends in discipleship, we will be limited in our success until we discover a way to be intentional with each individual. If that sounds overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Not only is a Distinctive Discipleship approach imperative, but I believe that it is actually possible.

Distinctive Discipleship is a process – not a program. It’s a method to help you design a specific plan for Christian maturity in your life or in the life of someone you are discipling. 



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The Distinctive Discipleship Process

Distinctive Discipleship is a process – not a program. It’s a method to help you design a specific plan for Christian maturity in your life or in the life of someone you are discipling. 

Seeking Lifelong Discipleship

Psalm 119:97-112 – Just because someone is seasoned does not mean they are scriptural. We need personal commitment and committed disciple-makers to follow God’s ways for the long haul. 

Growth Is Gradual

We can only fully mature in Christ by acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. As we observe the rough edges of our spiritual conditions, we can work with Christ’s power to see progress in the most critical areas of our lives.

Intentional Imitation

Our commitment to fleshing out our personal walks with Christ overlooks our need to learn from one another. True discipleship prioritizes imitation over information.

Disciples Aren’t Made on Conveyor Belts

Just because the process of discipleship requires specific work does not imply that it is too complex to undertake. The task is undeniably simple: discover what is most broken within any given individual and get to work in that exact area at this specific time.