Lethco Spheres and Stages of Discipleship.docx - LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DIVINITY Analysis of the Spheres and Stages of Discipleship Submitted to

Lethco Spheres and Stages of Discipleship.docx - LIBERTY...

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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DIVINITY Analysis of the Spheres and Stages of Discipleship Submitted to Dr. Donald Hicks in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of DSMN 500 – C01 Discipleship Ministries by Luke Lethco 1
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Contents Introduction Stages of Discipleship Stage 1: Spiritually Dead Stage 2: Spiritual Infancy Stage 3: Spiritual Child Stage 4: Spiritually Young Stage 5: Spiritual Parent hood Personal Examination Spheres of Life Sphere 1: Relationship with God Sphere 2: Relationship with the Community Sphere 3: Relationship with Family Sphere 4: Relationship with the World Personal Examination Conclusion 2
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Introduction When considering the spiritual Growth of a person there are several things that are vital to remember. First one must remember that “spiritual formation is the process 1 of being changed to be more like Jesus.” 2 With the understanding that the formation of a person is a process one must remember that “people are complex; growth is multifaceted, even as it shows itself in traceable patters.” 3 What the author here is implying is that the growth of a person should be seen often as “cyclical,” 4 and not necessarily linear. Secondly one must recognize that Christian growth takes the entirety of the person’s life there can be no half Christian. For the Christian this means that for the Christian, “living on mission is not the career of a select few. It is the calling of all disciples, commission to all disciples, and command for all disciples. We are all called as missionaries.” 5 Christian growth should therefore infect every sphere in which the person operates. “Any disciple-making strategy that merely adds Jesus to already busy lives is doomed for failure.” 6 Finally, it is important to recognize the stage of spiritual growth in which a person is operating, in order to disciple them appropriately. The ability for one to acknowledge the stages of a person’s faith journey is worked pioneered by James Fowler. “By situating faith development squarely within the domain of human development process, he has ‘dispelled the 1 Emphasis added 2 Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Spiritual Formation is…: How to Grow in Jesus with Passion and Confidence ( Nashville: B&H Academics, 20181), 4. 3 Jim Putman & Bobby Harrington, Disciple Shift: Five steps that help your church to make Disciples who Make Disciples, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 73. 4 Ibid. 5 Dave Earley and Rod Dempsey, Disciple Making are…: How to live the Great Commission with Passion and Confidence ( Nashville: B&H Academics, 2013), 78. 6 Ibid.,86. 3
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notion that faith is above nature and therefore inaccessible to scientific investigation.” 7 Plotting the stages of spiritual development is therefore, not only possible but productive in understanding spiritual growth. This reality is made clear through the writer of Hebrews stating, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need mild, not solid food” (Hebrews 5:12 ESV).
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