I'm one of those people who has a stack of books on my nightstand that I'm plowing through (or at least want to read in the somewhat near future), and one that I am currently reading on discipleship and am recommending to you is Real Life Discipleship by Jim Putnam. It is both practical and great about simply and clearly explaining the discipleship process.

Here are a few tidbits from the book to chew on. Warning: this will probably entice you to click on the Amazon link above to order the book - or at least to add it to your Wish List.

3 Keys to Jesus' Success as a Disciple-Maker:

  1. Jesus was an intentional leader in every sense.

  2. He did His disciple-making in a relational environment.

  3. He followed a process that can be learned and repeated.

So "An intentional leader + relational environment + reproducible process = infinite number of disciples."


What is a disciple?

The invitation is the definition. "And he said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" -Matthew 4:19

A disciple of Christ...

  • Knows and follows Christ - "Follow me,"

  • Is being changed by Christ - "and I will make you"

  • Is committed to the mission of Christ - "fishers of men"

Knowing where a disciple is on her spiritual journey enables the disciple-maker to help her mature and grow.

Putnam Describes 5 Stages of a Disciple's Growth:

  1. Spiritually Dead - The person is not yet a believer

  2. Spiritual Infant - The person is eager and is beginning to change but is characterized by ignorance.

  3. Spiritual Child - The person is beginning to understand the faith but still acts self-centered and does the right thing for the wrong motives (i.e., to avoid punishment, obtain a reward, avoid an unwanted outcome).

  4. Spiritual Young Adult - The person is maturing, eager to serve, and beginning to share the faith, but they are not yet at a place where they are reproducing disciple-makers.

  5. Spiritual Parent - This person is intentionally making disciples who are making disciples.

What makes a relational environment for discipleship?

  • Real Teaching

  • Shepherding

  • Transparency

  • Accountability

  • Guided Practice

What are books, articles, or blog posts on discipleship and mentoring that have influenced you?