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Introducing The Nine Signs of Spiritual Maturity 

We have identified nine characteristics that define a transformed and mature follower of Christ. We hope to use these characteristics, or signs, as mile markers to help us pay attention to the path we’re on. It is important to note that these are all broad simplifications. They’re not meant to be a pass/fail test, but a gauge we check regularly and to know when and where to adjust as we go. Each week we will explore one of these nine signs in depth using a variety of exercises and spiritual disciplines designed to help you evaluate where you’re at and how you can continue growing towards maturity in Christ.

This Week’s Focus: A Mature Disciple Helps Others Grow

In the great commission, stated in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus doesn’t command the disciples to teach others what he commanded, but rather “how to obey all that he commanded.” So often we think helping others grow is about teaching them principles and expectations; we assume that if someone knows better, they’ll do better. But Jesus understands that we are flawed humans who are wired for relationships over rules. So his call to us is to walk alongside others. This means “making disciples” looks more like an apprenticeship than a tutorship. When someone wants to become an electrician, they work under an established electrician as an apprentice. They will follow that electrician closely for years and learn through observing and practicing on the job, rather than in a classroom. After the apprenticeship, they’ll know how to do the job well enough to go out on his own. Then a few years down the road, that newly established electrician will likely take on an apprentice of their own and the cycle will continue. It’s the same for followers of Jesus. We have to become apprentices of Jesus who learn enough to pass on both knowledge and skills to the followers walking right behind us, so they can then pass it on from there. 

For us, that means taking personal responsibility to directly support the spiritual maturity of others reflected in the nine signs. This is done most commonly by guiding them to participate in the ministries encouraged by our church that best fit them. A mature disciple recognizes that while we are all unique in our personal callings, we are all commissioned by God to help others grow.

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