The Discipleship Pathway Assessment addresses specific elements of 8 signposts. Each set of questions statistically work together in a reliable way revealing progress on each marker.
What are these signposts on a disciple’s journey? Why does each matter?
Engaging the Bible
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 Tim. 3:16-17).
Learning the truth is an essential signpost, but it cannot stand alone. In fact, overemphasis on it leads to intellectualism. Truth reveals a choice and our response should be obedience.
Obeying God and Denying Self
Discipleship is the journey 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 follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me (Luke 9:23).
Overemphasis on areas of obedience can lead to legalism. While Scripture is full of specific areas in which we are to obey, there should be an underlying motivation of love for God. When love is one’s focus, you naturally have an external rather than selfish orientation. You see and respond to opportunities to serve.
Serving God and Others
Christlike 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 and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matt. 25:40).
Jesus set an example for his followers by being willing to serve them. Our outward focus is not limited to other followers of Christ. We should also be sharing Christ with non-believers in word and deed.
Maturing believers know that speaking about the message is a necessity. Transformation is evident when we talk about Christ and the message of the gospel.
But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Pet. 3:15).
Living out the effect of the gospel means also putting it into words. This often comes through building relationships with non-Christians and showing them the relational community found in the local church. These external signposts require a foundation of 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. (Gal. 2:20).
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Rather than seeking any other type of security, a disciple seeks God himself.
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. (Matt. 6:33).
This relationship with God desires to bring Him glory by responding to Him with a lifestyle of worship. Our mission and our purpose are shared with other believers. We become one as we build relationships with other believers.
Our faith is personal, but it is not intended to be private. Our horizontal relationships with other believers should develop just as our vertical relationship with God does. Transformation is occurring when relational maturity is evident in our lives.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. (Acts 2:42).
Christ intended for us to follow Him together with other believers. This requires time and intentionality. As we find our identity in Christ, we identify with other believers and live unashamed of Christ.
Transformation is evident when a believer is transparent and unashamed in presenting their own life as being aligned with Christ.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16)
Followers of Jesus Christ find their identity in Him, boldly share the gospel, trust Him, walk in His truth (not alone but in relationships with other believers), and serve others all from a desire to glorify God in love and obedience.
Transformation by God’s grace will be evident in these signposts as our beliefs, desires, and actions conform to His image.