A Discipleship Dieting Story Part One

Posted: May 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

I recently watched this message by Andy Stanley and I loved it.

In it, he talks about the studies and surveys they have done to discover what things are the most instrumental in growing the average person’s faith.  Of all the thousands of answers they have heard, they have found that the faith Miracle-Gro always fits into one of five categories.

  1. Practical Teaching
  2. Providential Relationships
  3. Personal Ministry
  4. Pivotal Circumstances
  5. Private Disciplines

In looking over my journey of faith and growth, I would say that those are exactly the five things that have made the greatest impact.    I’ve watched this message repeatedly and keep mulling it over in my mind,  trying to figure out ways to help life group leaders at our church leverage their moments with their group members to help maximize their effectiveness as disciple-growers.  Because of the constant mulling, when I hear something like “My neighbors were on the brink of divorce and they came to our Life Group and they are doing better than ever,” I immediately think “Yep.  Pivotal circumstances and providential relationships.”

Recently, I had lunch with the lovely Mekenzie and she told me about a Graham Cooke CD that’s nearly on constant repeat in her car, it’s impacted her so much.  When I heard that, my mind held up a little sign that said, “Practical teaching!”  And the CD was given to her by a friend who felt it was something Mekenzie could really use in this season of life.  My little brain sings, “Providential relationships, baby!”

So, since my mind is doing this automatic connector thing (like Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys – remember those wonderful guys?)  and it has me wondering:  of the five things listed, what would you say has had the most impact on the growth of your faith?

Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you a funny story about how dieting and a friend and book brought these principles all the way home to roost!

Grow gracefully,


  1. Karen says:

    This is a providential circumstance caused by a pivotal relationship, laced with personal teaching and speaking into my private ministry as well as reminding me of the value of personal disciplines.

    1) I needed to read this at just this moment (pc)
    2) My cyber relationship with Bo creates life/spirit change (pr)
    3) Bo’s words, flowing from God, seem so personal (pt)
    4) There are things stewing in my inner, private heart – ministry things (pm)
    5) I personally need to get disciplined (pd)

    Friday fun….seriously…if you knew what has been going on in my head and soul this is such a huge God-incidence that you posted this.

    Now I am off to serve and share on a sunny spring day…

  2. Jamie Schulz says:

    I have been thinking about this post. Personal disciplines are definitely the foundation to my faith. But relationships and personal ministry are my saving grace in hours of desperation. An encouraging person or a great conversation with someone I am mentoring has often stirred faith in me for God’s purposes in my life.

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