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8 Attributes of Christian Discipleship

How do you measure discipleship? Research conducted by LifeWay Resources reveals eight factors consistently present in the lives of believers who are progressing in their spiritual maturity. These “attributes of discipleship” form the foundation for the scope and sequence of studies used in our whole campus curriculum, Bible Studies for Life. By regularly engaging these studies, our Life Groups experience an intentional plan for discipleship in the following eight ways:

Bible Engagement

Transformation can be recognized when our mind is sharpened by the Bible, our perspective is shaped by the Bible, and our actions are directed by the Bible.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Obeying God and Denying Self

Discipleship is the process of obedience to the One who is in authority over you. Transformation can be seen when we progressively set aside earthly delights for kingdom priorities.

If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).

Serving God and Others

Transformation is evident when personal needs and even dreams are set aside for the needs we see in others.

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me (Matthew 25:40).

Sharing Christ

Even with the need to live out the effects of the gospel, maturing believers know that speaking about the message is a necessity. Transformation is evident when we talk about the source of it.

Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15).

Exercising Faith

Transformation is seen in believers when risk-aversion is set aside and our lives are characterized by faithful obedience to God’s will.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:19b-20).

Seeking God

Transformation is seen when our desire is to know God more deeply and experience His work more fully.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you (Matthew 6:33).

Building Relationships

Our faith is personal but it is not intended to be private. Our horizontal relationships should develop just as our vertical relationship with God does. Transformation is occurring when relational maturity is evident in our lives.

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers

(Acts 2:42).


Transformation is evident when a believer is unashamed in presenting their own life as being aligned with Christ.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).

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