God wants us to grow and develop more and more to be people who reflect Him. As we meet with Him and study His Word, pray, fellowship with other Christians, and rely on His power through the Holy Spirit, we will see change in our lives.
God has also called us to be part of the lives of others by discipling them. We are to help them to be more in love with Him and to grow in characteristics that radiate Him to others. That can feel like an overwhelming task at times. When our friends first accept Christ, their backgrounds and habits can be so far from the godly lives God has for His children. You wonder, “How can I help them grow?” You need a plan.
When you think about teenagers who follow the Lord, what do you dream about them becoming? What would their character look like? How would they spend their time each day? Who would they hang out with? How would they relate to non-Christians?
Make a List for a Growing Christian
Begin creating your plan by writing down characteristics and habits that you think a Christian teen should possess. Ask the Lord to show you in His Word what a growing Christian looks like and how to help them take steps to grow. Write verses next to your ideas to remind you that this is God’s plan.
List Qualities in Categories
You may want to list the characteristics and habits in categories: spiritual, social, mental, and ministry.
Spiritual AreaThese are some of the qualities you may consider in the spiritual area:
- Living filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 1:8; John 10:10; Galatians 5:16-23)
- Obedience to the Lord (1 John 2:3; Psalm 40:8;Philippians 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Commitment to Purity – Abstinence before Marriage (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4)
- Love toward parents/family (Ephesians 6:1-3; Proverbs 6:20-22;Colossians 3:20)
- Love the Lord with all their hearts (Matthew 22:36-40)
- Boldness in sharing the Lord with the lost (Colossians 4:3-6; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Acts 1:8)
- Trust in the Lord, as they grow in healing of past hurts from life (See the story of Joseph.)
- Willingness to give financially to the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:6-11).
- Heart of Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 1:3-6)
- Eternal perspective, looking forward to the Lord’s return and living in anticipation of it (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Colossians 3:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:4-10)
- Walk by faith (Hebrews 11; 2 Timothy 1:7-8)
- Confess sin immediately (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 3:12-15; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Social AreaSome qualities you would consider in the social area might include:
- Listening skills
- How to be a friend
- Basic hygiene
Mental AreaThe mental area could include:
- Better study habits
- taking challenging classes
- Improving one’s grades
Ministry AreaThe ministry area could include:
- Learning how to share one’s faith
- Leading a small-group Bible study
- Involvement in a local church
Select the Top Ones to Develop in Your Students
Now, no one is superhuman. It takes time to grow to be more like the Lord. So, pick just three to five of the top characteristics and/or habits you’d like to see in your disciples. Write them down, and begin to pray that God would show you how to teach them so they grow in these areas.
Help Your Students Grow in These Areas
The main idea is to help young disciples grow with thought-out goals and direction, taking them from where they are to the next level. This is a lifetime process, and you can be the one to get them started. Plan or use events, Bible studies, discussions, and outreaches as resources for growth in your disciples. Remember to pray. God is the one who sanctifies. We are just tools He works through. Watch the Lord take your faith and grow your disciples into people of character! Apart from your own growth in the Lord, helping someone else grow in Christ can be one of the most satisfying aspects of your life.
Discipled Student Profile
(Complete this for each student disciple. Feel free to do this as an interview with each one.)
Name: ________________________________________ Phone: _________________________
- What are some of this person’s strong points?
- In what areas does he/she need growth or change?
- In what activities are the individual involved or what hobbies does the person have?
- How well does the person interact with others?
- How could this person take the next step in becoming more like the Lord in each of these areas of life:
- Spiritual -
- Social -
- Mental -
- Ministry -
What are the three characteristics or habits you hope the Lord will build in this disciple?
Write down some events, activities, people, Scripture, and questions you could use as resources to begin to help mold this person in the three areas listed above.