Two Big Ideas for Disciple-Making

by | Aug 3, 2021 | Christian Living

At first glance, the title of 8 Habits for Growth might seem to tell you everything you need to know about the book.

Underlying the eight habits, though, are two big ideas: that anyone can grow and that anyone can make disciples.

Anyone Can Grow

The first big idea is that anyone can grow.

Building habits around spiritual growth can be complicated and overwhelming. In 8 Habits, I try to make the process of building habits as simple as possible. For instance:

  • Instead of making big changes, start with small, consistent changes. Keep shrinking the challenge until you’re 90% sure you can do it.
  • Take as long as you need. It’s more important to build the habits than to rush through content.
  • Don’t be discouraged with small actions like reading the Bible for 10 minutes or praying for 5 minutes.
  • When you fail, pick yourself up and keep going.
  • Get support from others.
  • Focus on the right habits that make the biggest difference, and follow a model that leads to behavior change.

Underneath all these points lies a big assumption: that God must work for us to grow. We are completely dependent on God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The good news is that God honors us as we seek after him. He doesn’t play hide and seek; he responds to the smallest movement in his direction.

Underlying the eight habits, though, are two big ideas: that anyone can grow and that anyone can make disciples.

Anyone can grow, and anyone can make disciples.

Spiritual growth isn’t for the spiritually elite. It’s for anyone who is hungry for God. Anyone can build habits that help them pursue God. 8 Habits aims to provide an onramp for people who don’t know where to start — and a lot of people in our churches don’t know where to start!

Anyone Can Help Others Grow

Not only can anyone grow, but anyone can help others grow.

We’ve made spiritual growth complicated. We’ve also made disciple-making complicated. We think that only spiritually advanced people can invite others to grow, and that making disciples involves a lot of complicated books and curricula.

Making disciples is as simple as saying to someone else, “Let’s go after God together.” You may be early on in pursuing God, but you can still invite others to go with you. In general, we can only take people as far as we’ve gone, but we can invite people to join us as we continue to grow. We can grow alongside others as we pursue God together.

8 Habits provides a place to start. The point isn’t to complete the material or finish the book. Rather, it’s to begin to build these key habits into our lives as we walk with others.

One of the appendices to the book is called “Helping Others Grow.” You can download it here.

I want people to believe that they can run after God, and as they do so, to build habits in their lives that will help them in that pursuit. I also want people to be able to invite others to join them as they run after God.

I hope that individuals find 8 Habits helpful. I also hope that churches will use it as a tool to help build a disciple-making culture within the church. Mostly, I hope and pray that all of us will build key habits for growth in our lives, and invite others to join us so that we can pursue God together.

Two Big Ideas for Disciple-Making

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