F.7: I know how to help someone grow spiritually.

A Story

Pastor Jones was trying to figure out how to provide a pathway of discipleship in his church. He was frustrated by all the activities, and yet he could not effectively discern where people were in their maturity journeys.  The pastor was coached to try to clarify the intended future of his ministry. The coach knew that the pastor wanted “discipleship” but was unclear where the intended future was. The coach shared Matthew 9:36-38 and asked, “What does this passage indicate about the current reality in the work of the kingdom and what was needed?  The pastor answered quickly, “The laborers are few.” “If this is the case,” asked the coach, “then what is the intended future?” The pastor replied, “We need more laborers.” The coach asked, “What would that look like?”

The pastor answered that they needed equipped laborers who were mature and knew how to do the work of the ministry of disciple-making.  The coach asked if the pastor knew how to develop a pathway of maturity in his church. He answered that he did not have that skill. The coach then offered to make a resource available called the “pipeline, pathway, or the funnel.” Let’s look at how to coach this Scripture pathway as the maturing disciple flows from one step to the next. These stages describe the overall movement of a disciple of Jesus toward maturity. There can be several words that describe this process. We will use this illustration as a jumping-off point.

Let’s study this illustration and then I will ask some coaching questions.

Digging Into The Bible

Matthew 9:36-39

The harvest is plentiful. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into the harvest.”


  • Spiritual Infant – EXPLORING CHRIST – Focus: Growing in Christ & Commitments – Key Scriptures: 1 John 5:11-12, John 16:24, 1 Cor 10:13, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 3:5-6 – Time: 6-8 Months – Result: They will grow into Spiritual Children.
  • Spiritual Child – GROWING IN CHRIST – Focus: Christ at the Center & Convictions – Key Scriptures: 2 Cor 5:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, Phil 4:6-7, Heb 10:24-25, Rom 10:9-10 – Time: 1 year – Result: They will grow into Spiritual Young Adults.
  • Spiritual Young Adult – CLOSE TO CHRIST – Focus: Christ’s Character, Excellence, Humility & Servanthood – Key Scriptures: John 10:10, Romans 6:23, 1 Pet 3:18, Eph 2:8-9, John 1:12, Titus 3:5 – Time: 2-3 years – Result:  They will grow into Spiritual Parents.
  • Spiritual Parent – CHRIST-CENTERED – Focus: Knowing the will of God, Heart, Vision & Know-How – Key Scriptures: 1 John 5:11-12, John 16:24, 1 Cor 10:13, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 3:5-6Time: 2-3 years – Result:  They can reproduce Christ in others, care for the Spiritual Infants, and help Spiritual Children grow.

Discussion & Discovery

  1. What is God’s goal for maturity? Colossians 1:28,29; Romans 8:29
  2. What Bible verses have you studied that speak to this maturity pathway?
  3. From this illustration, what are the stages of maturity? What verses stand out to you?
  4. What Scriptures are in your ministry toolbox to assist someone in the maturity journey?
  5. How does this illustration help you?
  6. What are the personal implications of your own maturity, and where do you want to go next?

Application & Accountability

  1. What other steps can you take to learn how to implement this pathway and then, with your team, develop this pathway?
  2. What other books or tools can you read and study on this subject? (Ways of an Alongsider)
  3. When would you like to get started on this project?
  4. What can I do to aid you in understanding this process?

Digging In Deeper

  1. What is the most important part of this lesson to you? Explain.
  2. How do you see applying aspects of this lesson to your life?
  3. When do you feel would be the best time to make that application?
  4. What do you hear the Lord speaking to you about this right now?

Similar Verses In The Bible

List similar verses in the Bible: