Spheres and Stages of Discipleship

Satisfactory Essays
Topics: Joel Osteen
1

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

SPHERES AND STAGES OF DISCIPLESHIP A PAPER
SUBMITTED TO DR. DONALD HICKS
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE
DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES
DSMN 500 BY
TERRELL PEARSON

CHICAGO, IL
FEBRUARY, 2015

2

Introduction
In this paper I will identify the five stages of discipleship according to the growth process described in the book
DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church To Make
Disciples Who Make Disciples. These five stages are spiritually dead, spiritual infant, spiritual child, young adult, and parent.1 In addition I will also discuss what is called the Four Spheres of discipleship.2 Spiritually Dead
The Apostle Paul described in Ephesians 2: 1­5 those who were dead in their sins and transgressions. These are people who have not accepted Christ as Savior, instead reject His sacrifice on the Cross. They sometimes claim to seek a God or Higher Power but there is no evidence of any relationship with God whatsoever. These people are what the authors call
Spiritually Dead.3
In fact the author compares these people to dead men in a casket just waiting to decompose. When speaking to the “walking dead” the authors teach how to identify the common
“phrase from the stage”4 in order to assess where a person is in their walk with God. These typical phrases are usually:
● I don’t believe in God.
● The bible is just a myth.

1

Putman, Jim, Bobby Harrington, and Robert Emerson Coleman.
DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to
Make Disciples Who Make Disciples
. (Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan, 2013). 60.
2
Ibid., 77.
3
Ibid., 61.
4
Ibid., 62.

3

● Religion is a crutch for the weak.
● Christians are intolerant and homophobic.
● There are many paths to God. (Oprah Winfrey & Joel Olsteen)5
● I don’t believe in hell. Or hell is on Earth.
● My good deeds will save me from hell.
● There is no right or wrong,



Bibliography: .  S.l.: Xlibris, 2012.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works​ . Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996.  The Book of the Law (technically Called Liber Al Vel Legis Sub Figura CCXX  as Delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI): An Ixii Sol in Aries March 21, 1938 E.v​ .  London: O.T.O., 1938.   (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing, 2014)   

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