Frameworks are helpful for thinking and planning. So when it comes to developing discipleship frameworks, it is helpful to create frameworks to work from. I have been thinking through a discipleship framework based on habits.
We know that our character is the sum of our habits. We become what we repeatedly do.
So what are we to do?
“. . . and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” ~ Matthew 28:20
So what is the greatest of these commands?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” ~ Mark 12:30
There are multiple dimensions (heart, soul, mind, and strength) of spiritual maturity and growth we need to target.
. . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:18-19
If we are to become fully like Jesus, we must learn, love, and become more fully like Jesus.
Character, therefore, is not built by what we know, but rather by what we do. Skills that are practiced into habits are essential for forming Christ-like character. The skills and habits we seek to grow into character are themselves a result of taking knowledge, seeing things from God’s perspective and coming to a place of belief and conviction. Acting on our beliefs by taking knowledge and perspective and developing skills and habits that will shape our character is the process of discipleship.
So you can see, habits are essential from taking knowledge and moving it all the way into character transformation. We move from knowing something to understanding it, believing it, doing it, and finally becoming it.
The table below demonstrates my discipleship approach to building habits the shape our character.
|H||HEALTH: Develop healthy habits across all areas of life
(Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, and Vocational)
Habits help us acquire knowledge of God’s Word. "What does the Bible say about this?"
Habits help us see and understand things from God’s perspective.
Habits that instill conviction and belief.
|T||TOOLS-TASKS-TAKEAWAYS TO DEVLOP AND PRACTICE SKILLS
Tools: resources to support skills
Tasks: action steps, projects, ideas and suggestion to do and practice skills
Takeaways: key idea and plans for skill development
|S||SHAPE CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER
Habits that grow us more like Jesus
The question then arises, “Which habits?”
Ultimately, becoming like Christ requires that we give him all of ourselves, all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
So a simple framework for habit development is heart-soul-mind-strength.
(Skills & Habits)
4 Learning Dimensions of Discipleship (Knowledge)
- Heart: Learn the habits of the heart
- Soul: Learn the habits of the soul
- Mind: Learn the habits of the mind
- Strength: Learn the habits of strength
4 Learning Mindsets (Perspective)
- Surrendering: Habits that help us surrender our will to God’s
- Opening: Habits that help us open ourselves to hear God
- Knowing: Habits that help us understand God and His Word
- Developing: Habits that help us grow ourselves and others
4 Learning Beliefs (Convictions)
- Lordship: I will make Jesus Lord of my life
- Listening: I will learn to make time and space in my life to listen to Jesus
- Learning: I will learn about Jesus and see things from His point of view
- Leveraging: I will learn to grow myself and others.
4 Learning Outcomes (Skills)
- Priorities: Habits of time, team, and treasure
- Practices: Habits of retreat, silence, solitude, confession, journaling, renewal
- Perspective: Habits of learning and understanding The Bible, Theology, Apologetics
- Proficiencies: Habits of learning (meta-learning) and growing others (teaching)
Habits are not an end unto themselves. Habits must lead to outcomes. More to come in later in future posts.
Heart– Habits of the heart are those things that demonstrate our priorities (what and who we love).
Soul– Habits of the soul help us to learn practices that put ourselves in a place and posture where we can open ourselves to God.
Mind– Habits of the mind focus on knowing and learning essential knowledge the Bible, theology, doctrine, and developing a perspective of God’s Word that gets us to a place of conviction and belief.
Strength– Habits of strength develop proficiencies that can be leveraged to develop ourselves and others.