Evidences of Spiritual Growth - What should we look for?

Evidences of a New Believer
1. Signs of a new life in Christ are seen in his* life (2 Corinthians 5.17).(* These evidences are to be seen in the lives of both men and women.)

2. He has a favorable attitude toward Jesus as Lord and Savior (John 1.49-51, 5.24).

3. He has an unfavorable attitude toward sin (Luke 19.8, 1 Thessalonians 1.9,10).

Evidences of a Disciple
1. As a follower of Jesus, he puts Him first in the major areas of his life (i.e. family, work, friendships); he strives to be separate from sin (Luke 9.23, Romans 12.1,2).

2. He is growing in the knowledge of Scripture through daily reading, study, and memorization. With the help of the Holy Spirit he seeks to apply Scripture to his life (John 8.31, James 1.22-25, Psalm 119.59).

3. He is growing in his prayer life; for himself and especially for others (Mark 1.35, Hebrews 11.6, Colossians 4.2-4).

4. He attends church regularly and seeks to be identified with, and serve, other believers (Hebrews 10.25, John 13.34,35, Galatians 5.13).

5. He is openly identified as a believer where he lives and works. He is growing in effectiveness as a witness of Jesus in his words and behavior (Matthew 5.16, Colossians 4.6, 1 Peter 3.15).

6. He is a learner who is open and teachable (John 6.68, Acts 17.11).

7. He is growing to demonstrate consistency and faithfulness in his walk with Jesus in all the areas described above (Luke 16.10).

Evidences of a Worker

1. He is growing in the skills and disciplines listed under “Disciple” (Hebrews 6.1,2).

2. He has a growing compassion for the lost and is able to introduce others to Jesus (Matthew 9.36-38).

3. He is involved in discipling others to becoming growing believers (Matthew 28.19, Colossians 1.28,29).

4. Regular times of reading Scripture and prayer are established patterns of his life (Philippians 4.9).

Evidences of a Leader
1. He is growing in the skills and disciplines listed under “Disciple” and “Worker.”(1 Corinthians 4.2).

2. Some of those he has discipled are now “Workers” (2 Timothy 2.2).

3. He has a group of people he is leading in the process of evangelism and discipleship (Matthew 25.23).

4. He has developed a good reputation - with believers and unbelievers - as one who is a devoted follower of Jesus (1 Timothy 3.1-7).

How long does this growth process take?

Most experienced Christian leaders would agree it will take at least:
• From New Believer to Disciple - 2 years
• From Disciple to Worker - 2 years
• From Worker to Leader - 3 years

How long did Jesus, the God-man, take to develop a leader? He spent approximately 3 years with his disciples, many of them were with him constantly - usually 12 hours each day. This would be 4,380 hours in a year, and 13,140 for three years. If we could spend seven hours a week training a person, and that is quite unusual, it would take us 36 years to equal the amount of time Jesus spent with His disciples! And one of them still denied Him! We see this work is a great one, we depend on God’s blessing and help.

Remember: A mushroom can grow up overnight, an oak tree takes many years.

Based on “The Lost Art of Disciple Making” by Leroy Eims, Zondervan/NavPress, 1978.