Vision in Discipleship

Eric Russ

After discipling someone for six months in Christ, the biggest need for this person is a time of specific and intimate encouragement.

People will not usually ask for it, but it is a huge blessing when a discipler pauses and spends time letting you know how much you have grown in Christ, and how much of a blessing you are to them and others. In addition, it blesses the disciple just as much to consider ways they can continue to grow in Christ. A time to cast vision on where a person was in their walk with Christ and where they are now is extremely important.  These times are great trust builders in your relationship because the disciple will take comfort in the fact that you see them with a discerning eye (you encourage them on all the good you see and are also willing to tell them the hard things). 

Usually as a discipler, it is hard to give balanced feedback. Please be very prayerful and make sure you share both what God is doing in their life and areas for growth. Below are two sample documents used to encourage past disciples (To be clear, my wife created the one with the hearts) . When you develop a document, DONT simply hand it to them, but read it to them and elaborate on different adjectives as the Lord leads you. Many times my wife, Sara, and I will write out a prayer at the end of the page and read it to our disciples as well. Our vision times throughout the years have been some of the most impacting time we have had with our disciples. I hope you experience the same. 

Sample 1

Woman of God

Loves God, teachable, loving, gentle, hungry for righteousness, disciplined, wise, a servant, a doer of the Word, a learner, a strong leader, caring, approachable, a lover of people, great listener, great friend, high view of God, handles the Bible and interpretation very well, repentant over sin, obedient, faithful, compassionate, dependable, desires to be an influencer of women, a heart for God’s people, a heart for the lost, a woman that takes steps of faith, grace giver, contemplative, tender hearted, enjoys people, so fun to be with, vulnerable, willing to be wrong and admit weakness, classy, a woman of conviction, a woman of passion, contentment, witty, observant, a woman that wants to please God with her heart and motivations and not just external, living for the eternal, a great shepherd.

Seeking God with a pure and authentic heart, servant leadership, being a good steward of your life, loving people well, putting into action what you have learned.

Seen Considerable Growth in
Discipleship, stewardship of the Word, being a woman that says what she means, pursuing authentic growth and authentic Christianity for self and others (thinking Biblically).

Needs to be developed  
People pleasing, conflict (focusing on ‘what is Godly?’ more than ‘how will they respond? What will people think?’), willingness to confront bad doctrine, going against status quo to be obedient to Christ, know why you believe what you believe (founding convictions in the Word), accurate identity in Christ (knowing that God has given you much to offer and trusting Him by sharing your thoughts/opinions/convictions/advice.  Asking God if it is fear of disapproval or intimidation that keeps you from sharing), trusting God to use you as much as He wants to, continuing to study the Word of God and learning to be a self-feeder, continue to develop relationships with non-believers and pray for the lost, continuing to develop discipleship skills and investing in women for a lifetime, reaching the nations for Christ, concern for the poor and marginalized.

Grow Convictions in:  Doing what is right/godly over most ‘peaceful’, confronting wrong doctrine/actions, being a student of the Word (continuously).

Practical Ways Toward Development
Lead by serving
Continue to renew your mind (Stay immersed in God’s Word)
Spend time in prayer and fasting and meditation
Moment by moment have your yes be yes and your no be no
Separate Culture from sin
Continue to disciple others
Practice vulnerability with your disciples and your discipler
Continue to strengthen your thinking through readings from bibliography 

Sample 2

John Russ

Areas of Growth
Learning how to articulate theological frameworks
Discerning/protecting truth
Leading/identifying in our ministry (teaching, discipling etc.)
Very loyal, faithful, desires to have an honest walk with the Lord
Giving yourself more to people
Receiving exhortation 
Spiritual Stamina (Not Choosing Despair/Depression)

Areas for Growth
Time with the Lord (Grow your walk)
Constantly trying to learn how to be missional (Rhythm)
Gloomy Disposition
Intentionally loving, serving and leading your wife
Minister redemptively wherever you are

Plan for the next year


1. Character growth: 
Offering yourself to others versus others digging.
Vulnerability (still room for growth), what are your fears?
Intimacy with the Lord

2. Spiritually formation personal/family:
Bible Study/Reading
Celebrating your wife
Praise and Song
Gospel Centered Discussion
Forming our kids in Christ

3. Christian Formation
Ministry = Evangelism and Service
Theology- Study our foundations binder.
Steady reading of Scripture and prayer.