Developing Spirit-empowered Disciples

Developing Spirit-empowered Disciples

Do we have the courage to deconstruct discipleship as it exists today, exchanging rational/behavioral models for relational/experiential models?

Are we ready to create an atmosphere where the presence and power of the Holy Spirit are not optional but imperative?

Too often in contemporary discipleship what's missing is the imperative of life in the Spirit—experiencing the presence and power of the living God.


First, we must realize Spirit-empowered discipleship must be relational and that it is impossible to realize apart from a special work of the Holy Spirit. For instance, Listening to and Hearing God. This is one of forty outcomes of being a Spirit-empowered disciple. Notice it is both relational  and requires the Spirit's active presence and work (.

Our ministry, along with the Empowered 21 Discipleship Council, utilized a cluster analysis of several Greek (diakoneo, leitourgeo, douleuo) and Hebrew ('abad, Sharat) words throughout scripture and identified forty Spirit-empowered Discipleship Outcomes which were then organized into four groups:
  • Serving/loving the Lord
  • Serving/living His Word
  • Serving/loving people
  • Serving/living His Mission
Relevant discipleship does not begin with doctrines or teaching, parable or principles, church polity or stewardship—but with loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving others. It is here in loving the Lord that the Spirit's baptism becomes real, His gifts are realized, and supernatural intimacy becomes a priority.
Additionally,  we need a process for living out our Spirit-empowered faith formation. This process can also be discerned from scripture:
"Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you" (John 12:35).
This means, as disciples, we all require a lifestyle of:
  • Fresh encounters with Jesus (John 8:12) — He is the LIGHT
  • Frequent experiences of Scripture (Psalms 119:105) — the LIGHT of His Word
  • Faithful engagement with God's people (Matthew 5:14) — we are the LIGHT of the world

The process of the forty outcomes becoming our identity can be described in the four stages below. We move through the stages by walking in the LIGHTS listed above.