How Do You Grow as a Disciple?

In the last few months, I picked up gardening. In the process, I learned a lot about what can help a plant grow. For climbing plants, a trellis is a must. A trellis is a tool that enables a climber (like a grapevine) to get off the ground and grow upward, becoming more fruitful and productive. Every good gardener “trains” vines. They control which way they grow. This leads to healthier plants that produce better grapes.

In the same way that a grapevine needs a trellis for growth, we as Christ’s disciples need to have support structures to help us grow. These structures are our spiritual disciplines or spiritual practices. They help us remain in Him, so we can bear much fruit.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

4 Spiritual Practices to Grow as a Disciple

In Acts 2: 42-47, we read about some spiritual practices that the disciples practiced. These daily activities helped them to grow rapidly in their own discipleship, as well as their ability to make other disciples.

The disciples devoted themselves to these four practices:

  1. scripture (apostle’s teaching),
  2. fellowship,
  3. breaking bread (Lord’s supper)
  4. prayer.

Let us look at some truths that we can learn from these verses.

Keep love at the center.

The word “devoted” implies that they practiced the disciplines because they loved the Lord. They did not do them because these spiritual acts would grant them salvation. Nor because they were forced to do them so they could prove their spirituality. They did these things because they were totally and utterly devoted to Jesus.

grow as a disciple
Keep love at the center

As Jesus’ disciples, we need to practice these disciplines because we love Jesus and want nothing more than to be connected to Him. If we are not careful, we can turn these disciplines into a legalistic and outward display of spirituality.

Be intentional.

The disciples who were devoted to these spiritual practices were new disciples.

grow as a disciple
Vines must be trained

They were recently baptized with the other three thousand (Acts 2: 41). Yet, they displayed their ability to actively participate in these simple disciplines.

The same Jesus and Holy Spirit who was in the apostles was also in them, enabling them to live new lives. The apostles also taught them to immediately practice these things.

Like a gardener who trains a grapevine to grow on the trellis from the time it is very young, we must be intentional to train everyone…especially new disciples to grow in the practice of these disciplines.

We should expect them to be devoted to scripture (apostle’s teaching), fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. Intentionality applies to everyone. No matter how long we have been following Jesus, the key to growth is consistent intentionality and discipline.

Let inner transformation be shown by outward fruit.

The disciples’ inner transformation and growth resulted in them bearing fruit in the outside world. Some people talk about spiritual disciplines, as ‘an exterior framework for an interior journey’.

grow as a disciple
If inner transformation is happening, it will be evident to others. Fruit shows!

It is true that the disciplines transform the disciple on the inside, but true inner growth and transformation must spill over. These must be seen in the disciple’s actions in their own community of Christ-disciples, as well as in their relationships with other people.

The disciples in Acts 2:45-47 gave to those in need, enjoyed the favor of all the people so that the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. We as Christ’s disciples need to show inner transformation through outward fruit.

How are you doing at regularly practicing these spiritual disciples? Are they resulting in inner transformation and outward fruit?

In the comments below, mention one spiritual practice you will work to develop into a spiritual habit this week.

Authored by B.S.

10 thoughts on “How Do You Grow as a Disciple?

  1. Kargwak Nandom michael Vongdip Reply

    Thank you.
    Absolutely, Jesus live a life that bears good fruit through a holistic guidance of knowing God will in his mission.

    I learned here that, every good disciple, need a good trainee just like the grapevine needs a good gardener in order to position his vine on a good trellis before good measures are beard.

    May God keep you and energized you in wisdom and might to train us ma.

    I can see the willingness and the love of Jesus to teach and to equip us with the truth about God’s Goodness and mercies in your life.

    Jesus is the way.

  2. Hilary Arua Reply

    Praying for the spiritual and physical growth of my disciples. Consistent fellowship and teaching them to become fruitful in their daily living.

    • Ida Mukura Reply

      God is faithful..Being a disciple also needs grooming ..pruning n Being humble enough to be transformed
      Thanks l believe this is starting in me..through you be blessed

  3. Kennedy Wanyende Reply

    I can see the love of our Lord Jesus Christ in everything for us to go we must do the four princispal that Apostle did.

  4. Evangelist Shansher Singh Marardu Reply

    Disciple Makers Increase Movement (DMM) is infect,based on our Savior,The Lord Jesus Christ’ Gospel preaching.Its the need of the hour for us to stand and support The Ministers of The Lord God to strengthen our co laborers working for The Kingdom of God.I’m happy to be a part of this movement.

  5. Richard Reeyah Reply

    I love discipleship increase because it is the heartbeat of God.

  6. Eunice Reply

    It is so inspiring. Our inner transformation in Christ should produce good fruits that can help others to enjoy Christ and bring about transformation of their lives. We are not just to be fruitful but being fruitful in good things because our source is Christ. Thank you ma.

  7. Rizwan khalid Reply

    When we do everything the teacher says. And follow in the footsteps of the teacher and obey him with obedience. Then we can move forward as good disciple.

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