In the development of disciple-making culture and writing Small Church on a Big Mission: Cultivating Missional Discipleship in smaller churches, there were countless occasions of reflection and discussion when I took the time to stop and assess where I was in my journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The first section of the book shares a bit of my journey of Personal Transformation.
In the second section of the book, I focus on Practical Realities of the journey. The first chapter of this section is about Position – Recognizing where I am I my journey.
Seeking to grow and improve during my business years, I had completed a number of self-assessments as well as a few gift and disciple assessments as lay leader in the church. In the pastorate, however, while I had invested lots of time in reading and teaching God’s Word, I really hadn’t done much reflection on my continuing journey as a disciple of Jesus. In short, I began to wonder if the shape of my life was reflective of the shape of Jesus’ life.
To address this need, our small church developed a simple self-assessment for disciples. The purpose of the assessment was to identify their current position as a disciple and then to help them develop their own plan for moving forward as God directed.
In developing the assessment, we applied a bit of innovation using the character and competency questions provided in the appendix of Mike Breen’s book Building a Discipling Culture. The character and competency questions invite disciples to consider where they are in three dimensions that Jesus demonstrated in his life and ministry of: UP, IN, & OUT.
At Faith Community Church, we often speak about the three-dimensional life of a disciple using the words Reflection, Relationships, and Responsibility. We also use the below as a picture of what the Jesus shaped life of a disciple looks like.
As disciples complete the self-assessment, they are able tto reveal the shape of their life in the dimensions of Up, In, and Out (see the triangle at the right).
With their personal discipleship triangle revealed, the disciple can reflect and discuss with others the questions where they scored the lowest as they develop a plan for their continuing journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
We’ve included this assessment in Appendix #1 of Small Church on a Big Mission: Cultivating Missional Discipleship in small churches.
Where am I on the Journey?
In closing, let me challenge you to identify where you are as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Do you know your shape as a 3-dimensional disciple of Jesus? Specifically, do you have a plan to grow in the under-developed areas of your character and competency?
God loves you so much that he accepts you just the way you are. God knows exactly where you are at this moment as a disciple of Jesus Christ. As leaders in Christ’s church, we cannot expect others to follow us and go to a place where we have never been before. So take the first step and determine where you are at in the journey.
To learn more about Resources and Coaching related to Small church on a BIG Mission – go to www.smallchurchbigmission.org.