Discipleship Model

I think a good model of discipleship is one which emphasizes all aspects of our person. The best model I’ve found is “Head, Heart, Hands.” Now there is cross over from one area to the next, but each primarily represents a different focus. “Head” refers to the gathering of a normative, standard base of knowledge. If I were focusing on training someone in this area, I might emphasize reading books on theology, worldview, scripture interpretation (called hermeneutics), reading large chunks of the bible to understand the grand narrative, or looking up specific commentaries.

If I were focusing on the “Heart,” I would spend time developing their understanding and application of the gospel, discussing the idols of their heart. I might recommend reading books (you can tell what tradition I’m from-a “head” focused one!) on sanctification, counseling, challenge them to pray with a Kingdom emphasis, discuss healthy emotive components arising from a relationship with Christ. And obviously I would address personal time alone with God studying and reflecting on His word in smaller chunks. Some call this a “Quiet Time,” (and this is fine) though those words are also used for what parents make their children do when they’re too old for naps, so I just call it “personal study,” “meditation,” or “devotions.” Just my goofy opinion.

If I were focusing on developing the “Hands,” I would challenge folks to display what they know and what they believe/feel by living out their faith through their actions. The book of James emphasizes this component of the faith. In addition, this area would include serving inside the church and outside in the arenas of mercy and outreach. We can’t simply know more of Christ, simply delight more in Christ personally, but also need to serve Christ and build His Kingdom. Resources in this area would be “practical” articles/books/blogs assisting you to be a better parent, a more effective cultural influence, a better neighbor, a preacher, Kingdom centered employee or boss, etc…

Again there is cross-over and some studies/books/resources may hit on all three emphases but will generally fall into one category more than another. I’ll explain more later on why I think its important to think in these terms. I’ve probably written too much already.

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