Mission

How-to Disciple - Discipleship Roadmap (Mobile)

Goal

To learn how to give a gospel invitation that allows a person to make Jesus and His Church the center of his life.

 

Optional Lectio Divina

Before we get started, take some time to pray over a Scripture passage about the Parable of the Sower.

                  First, read Mark 4:3–20.

                  Second, reflect on the words that caught your attention.

                  Third, pray from your heart and respond to what Jesus is saying to you.

                  Fourth, rest in what God has told you and in His presence.

 

Discussion (These are sample questions; feel free to develop your own.)

1.                   What jumped out at you as your read Mark 4:3–20?

2.                   What prevents the different seeds from growing?

3.                   Which one of these challenges do you struggle with the most?

4.                   What can help you be planted in the good soil?

 

Vision for the Discipleship Road Map

Have you ever worked with someone spiritually and wanted to give them more direction? They have a relationship with Him, they are praying daily, they are seeking His will, but they aren’t sure what God wants from them. What is the end goal? What is your next step in life? What pitfalls should they be looking to avoid? While Jesus won’t give us specific directions for each step of our lives, in the Parable of the Sower He lays out a road map for how to accept His Word and live it out.

In the parable, Jesus reveals His desire for those in the kingdom: that they would avoid pitfalls and bear fruit. How do we do this? FOCUS has developed a tool to identify stages in the process: the Discipleship Road Map. You may download the discipleship roadmap here.

There is a lot going on within the Discipleship Road Map that many people might not see at first, but it helps us accomplish quite a bit:

 

Self-Diagnosis

The Discipleship Road Map helps us not to make assumptions about others; we can let them read over the Road Map and determine for themselves where they are and where they want to be. For instance, some who you thought were Disciple Makers might realize that they are only Beginning Disciples and are focused on becoming Growing Disciples. Without knowing this information, you might spend a year investing in these people, only to discover later that they were not prepared to invest in others. The Road Map can help you avoid assumptions and wasted time.

It’s also important for our students to learn how to self-diagnose. We aren’t always going to be able to help them know where they are and where they want to go in their personal relationship with Christ. By diagnosing themselves, they are better equipped for the rest of their lives.

 

Transparency and Accountability

Remember that the people you are working with are Jesus’ disciples, not yours. That being said, the Road Map can be a great tool for accountability. Once the people you are working with identify where they want to be, you can shape your relationship and conversation in this direction. Your discipleship is now centered on getting them to the next level in their walk with Jesus Christ and their outreach. If they initially desired to be a Disciple Maker, but later on don’t take time to evangelize, you can point to the Road Map and say, “You told me you want to be a Disciple Maker. A Disciple Maker has a heart for people and is willing to make any sacrifice for others. Do you think you are doing this right now?” Your main concern is to help them accomplish their goals; the Road Map keeps you from trying to drag disciples in directions they don’t want to go.

We also want to make sure we are being transparent, as we are not trying to hide anything from our students. We want to be on the same page and have our students know exactly where it is they are going and what we are going to do to help them get there.

 

Know Next Steps and Incremental Growth

The Discipleship Road Map also allows for incremental growth. For someone who is starting off as a Beginning or Growing Disciple, the idea of becoming a Spiritual Multiplier might be daunting. But the Road Map lays out incremental steps that someone can take to get closer to their goal. At the same time, don’t be afraid to let the Holy Spirit guide that person in a new direction, if that’s where they feel God is calling them.

 

Repeatability

Some people can naturally coach others in their relationship with Jesus and His mission, while others struggle to know where to start or what to do. The Road Map provides a consistent coaching tool that anyone can use and teach others to use as well.

This is the most important reason why we have the roadmap! It allows us and our students to know who is ready to proceed, without the subjectivity of who we “feel” is ready. Our students don’t necessarily have the ability to know a person’s heart, but the roadmap gives them the objective and repeatable ability to pass along to others.

 

Navigating the Discipleship Road Map

To begin, read about the different stages on the Discipleship Road Map tool attached to this article.

After you have read over the different stages, identify two attributes at each stage of the Discipleship Road Map that were not present in the previous stage.

Presenting the Discipleship Road Map to Others

When to Use the Discipleship Road Map

The Discipleship Road Map should only be used after someone has committed or recommitted to making Jesus the center of his or her life. You might typically use the Road Map after someone makes this commitment or recommitment, as a way to call them into discipleship, or when discipleship isn’t fruitful.

 

How to Introduce the Discipleship Road Map

While the Discipleship Road Map is a helpful tool, it is also important that it not be used incorrectly. As we introduce the Road Map to others, we want to make sure that we articulate its purpose so that there isn’t any confusion.

Here are some tips as you introduce the Road Map:

Be authentic. If you are simply going through the motions, don’t use the tool.

Express that it is not meant to put people in a box. Every person is different.

Note that the does not define someone’s holiness or their entire relationship with God.

Explain that it is a tool that uses Scripture and the Catechism to help us understand what Jesus and His Church want from us and how we can live out His mission.

Let them know that you want to help them get to where they want to go.

 

The Discipleship Road Map Conversation

The most important thing about the Discipleship Road Map is the conversation that happens around it. On the back of the Discipleship Road Map are several questions that you will want to discuss:

1.                   Where do you place yourself right now? Why?

2.                   Where do you want to be, or where is God calling you to be? Why?

3.                   What sacrifices will you have to make to get there?

4.                   Are you willing to make those sacrifices?

Understanding their answers to these questions will help you coach these disciples. Pay close attention to what they say and why they feel the way they do.

 

Accountability

At the conclusion of your conversations, when appropriate, it is helpful to make next steps. Create a plan and then follow up to keep them accountable to it. Remember, the Road Map is about incremental growth. They don’t have to move from one stage to another overnight.

Here are some areas of growth for consideration:

·                     Prayer

·                     Mass

·                     Confession

·                     Starting a study

·                     Investing in others

·                     Opportunities for boldness (e.g., starting conversations on campus)

In addition to these, feel free to use the text on the Road Map as topics for growth as well.

 

Practice

As you discern with whom you might want to share the Discipleship Road Map, consider practicing your presentation. This will ensure that you are able to describe the purpose of the Road Map, what the Road Map is and isn’t for, how to ask the questions, and how to create a follow-up plan.

 

Summary

During this time, you should have:

·                     Read and prayed through Mark 4:3–20.

·                     Reviewed Vision for the Disicipleship Road Map.

·                     Reviewed Navigating the Discipleship Road Map and filled out the table.

·                     Reviewed Presenting the Discipleship Road Map to Others.

·                     Practiced walking someone through the Discipleship Road Map.

 

Conclusion

The Discipleship Road Map is a valuable tool if you take the time to explain its purpose, have a quality conversation, and follow up with accountability. Good luck!