While it is helpful to know what a mature disciple looks and acts like, don’t fall into the trap of comparing levels of spiritual maturity. Many churches in an effort to get people connected to their group system have good and intentional processes to make this happen. However, in some cases these processes do little more than move individuals through content, assessments, and placement into a role or position. Assimilating someone into a position or through a process does not mean an individual has become a disciple.
Another caution: Don’t mistake Bible knowledge, years of church attendance, physical age, or education for spiritual maturity. For the most part, physical maturity is easy to identify. Not so with a person’s spiritual maturity. Some spiritually immature people have been in church for a number of years. And some spiritually mature disciples have been Christians for only a few years.
The apostle Paul almost always used the language of family when he wrote about discipleship. He was a spiritual parent to so many, and when he wrote to them in his letters, he addressed them as his children in the faith. This is evident in 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12, 1 Timothy 1:1-2, and Philemon 1:8-11.
These verses clearly show Paul as a disciple maker, intentionally investing in people around him. Who has God brought around you? Who are those people that you might be able to encourage, mentor, and be a spiritual parent?
See you downstream . . .