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The Discipleship Wheel

The Discipleship Wheel

Growing in spiritual maturity is a process. The Discipleship Wheel is a good visual example
of the process. At each stage of growth there are three roles:

  • My part: What is my part as the one discipling the other person in each stage?
  • Their part: What is the other person’s part as the one being discipled in each stage?
  • God’s part: What is God’s part in each stage? How is God working, moving, guiding, drawing and directing throughout the entire process?

The Discipleship Wheel is made up of two circles that correspond with each other. The inner circle is divided into five stages of spiritual maturity that mirror how we grow physically, which makes them easier to remember and share with others. The outer circle describes phases of the disciple making process and a few steps that are important for people to take in each phase to continue growing in Christ.



SPIRITUALLY DEAD: People in this stage have not yet trusted Christ as Lord and Savior. They may completely reject God, they may be seeking God, they may be “spiritual”, they may even claim to know God or be a Christian, when in reality, they are their own god.

INFANT: People in this stage have accepted Christ, but haven’t moved much past that point. They can be new believers or they might be stagnant, long-time Christians. Life is generally
all about them and their needs.

CHILD: People in this stage are growing in Christ and in their relationship with other believers. They are applying God’s Word in their life and allowing others to walk beside them in their journey following Christ; however, life still mostly about them.

YOUNG ADULT: People in this stage are making a big shift from being self-centered to more others-centered. They’re beginning to understand God has a purpose for them to play to glorify Him.

PARENT: People in this stage have a solid understanding of God’s Word and an abiding relationship with the Father. They are living out God’s Word and able to reproduce mature disciples of Jesus by inviting others to follow them as they follow Christ.


  • IMPORTANT: This is a tool – a language for leaders. These stages are not designed to
    label people or to put them in a box.
  • This is a way to assess ourselves and others. It is designed to help us know where we are spiritually and how to help others grow in Christ.
  • Spiritual maturity is a process that varies from person to person. People may be in one stage in general, but still have areas of their life that reflect various stages at different times.

Posted by Todd Smeltzer with

Stories from the Field: Girls Game Night

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This is an incredible story that only the Lord could have orchestrated as one of our women’s RD Groups provides a perfect example of effective discipleship resulting in greater evangelism.

"While brainstorming in our RD Group about reaching unchurched friends who we had been praying for, we came up with the idea of a monthly girls game night. The four of us each invited one unchurched friend and scheduled it on the last Thursday of every
month. The four of us brought food and planned games for several months as we got to know each other’s friends. Bonds began to form and comments were made about how helpful and kind we were to each other. They saw something different in us.

We invited them to church events and lunch dates as relationships grew. We also started inviting more friends and now there are 14 ladies at Girls Game Night! Everyone brings food now and we have a feast with lots of games and laughs. After a year and a half we
threw out the idea of a summer Bible study and fully expected no one to bite.

Much to our surprise, 9 of the women said YES! When the Bible study was over, they even asked for more. We currently have 14 enrolled in our current study. You never know where God will lead! Just follow His adventure! He is full of wonderful surprises!"

Posted by Todd Smeltzer with