Effective Discipleship Has 7 Rhythms

“A goal without a plan is just a wish,” is a quote I often share from a guy whose name I can’t pronounce (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). It can be sad, motivating, or affirming, depending on the context in which it is shared, but leaders of almost any experience will agree that it’s true.

Unfortunately, this quote can be applied to too many discipleship ministries. Last week on the blog, we discussed Oreos, the early church, and the church-wide rhythms we see in effective discipleship ministries. This week, let’s focus on individual rhythms of effective discipleship and ask ourselves this question…

Do my people know the plan to make them more like Jesus?

A goal without a plan is a wish, so does your church have a discipleship plan? Do your people know what it is? If you asked ten disciples in your church how to pursue joy in Jesus would you get ten different answers? Five? What if you could have one answer? Wouldn’t it be powerful to have a shared plan with shared language for the individual-yet-shared journey of becoming like Christ and glorifying Him in the world.

Just as there are corporate rhythms of discipleship, there are individual rhythms as well. And churches in the Rooted Network have found that giving their people clarity on the rhythms of discipleship, the plan for pursuing Jesus, actually helps them know and grow toward the goal of Christlikeness.

***The following is excerpted from the Rooted Facilitator Guide

Grounded in God’s Word, the 7 Rhythms of a disciple are the foundation of the Rooted experience. Each of these rhythms was practiced by the early church in Acts 2. When we commit to practicing the 7 Rhythms in community like the early church, we see growth and transformation in both our personal lives and in our communities.

Daily Devotion (Acts 2:42, 46)
Scripture is the very Word of God. Through it, He equips us with all we need to learn about Him and live a life pleasing to Him. A daily rhythm of reading, meditating on and applying God’s Word to our lives is key.

Prayer (Acts 2:42)
One of the most important elements in any relationship is communication. Prayer is just that: engaging God in a conversation, sharing our hearts with Him, and spending time listening to His voice, both individually and in community.

Repentance (Acts 2:37-39)
Jesus saves those who believe and call upon His name. Saving grace is once and for all (justification) and also a continual invitation to repent for our wrongdoings. With the help of the Spirit we take inventory of our lives, humbly and honestly confess our sin, and turn away from our sin toward God in surrender. Through Jesus’ offer of forgiveness, we receive true freedom.

Sacrificial Generosity (Acts 2:44-45)
Giving demonstrates our dependence on God. We acknowledge that all we own has been given to us by Him. In His generosity toward us, God desires that we, too, are generous and will use our resources as a tangible way to partner with Him in His work in the world and in the lives of those around us. We are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2).

Serve the Community (Acts 2:44-45)
We are called and equipped by the Holy Spirit to share God’s love by participating in the ministry of Jesus. He has given us agency with Him to fearlessly influence our society and the world. When we serve in the world and in His Church, we impact those around us and reveal God’s glory.

Share Your Story (Acts 2:14-36)
The greatest gift we can ever give someone who doesn’t yet know Jesus is an introduction to Him. Sharing our life stories is the most powerful way to show the transforming power and salvation offered through Jesus Christ. When we tell our stories of transformation, we tell the story of God.

Worship (Acts 2:26-28, 46-47)
As children of God, it is important to consistently set aside time to remember what God has done, to thank Him for it, and to put Him on display as we give Him the glory. In all circumstances, we are called to practice God-centered worship.


To better understand how Rooted can help your church have a shared plan with shared language as you pursue the goal of effective discipleship, register for the next free “What is Rooted?” webinar.

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