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How to Become a Dream Disciple of Jesus

How to Become a Dream Disciple of Jesus

The Mission: Following Jesus as we live out God’s story every day, everywhere. 

Ephesians 2:10

If you’ve been following the mission re-alignment at Grace, you are familiar with the concept of the Dream Disciple, which consists of 4 roles:

  1. Compassionate Storyteller
  2. Intentional Friend
  3. Embedded Influencer
  4. Savvy Follower

This is the first in a series of blogs about the Dream Disciple concept and its four identified characteristics. 

A recent conversation with a young Christian reminded me of the importance of a disciple understanding that the work of becoming more like Christ, aka sanctification*, is God’s work and (mostly) not ours. Because my friend is newer to practicing her faith, she sometimes becomes discouraged when noticing what her Christian walk looks like in comparison to someone who’s been practicing longer. I imagine that for a newly practicing believer, it could be intimidating to be called to be compassionate, intentional, embedded, AND savvy.

How Do We Become a Dream Disciple?

In addition to doing your best to grow as a disciple of Jesus in each of the 4 roles listed above (see more about these in upcoming blog posts), spending time with God will change you.  Culture reverberates with many versions of this idea that you become like the company you keep. My second favorite quote on this topic is from the ancient Greek scholar Epicteus, “You become what you give your attention to.” My favorite is, “If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”  (Steve Maraboli) 

Five minutes a day with Jesus adds up over the course of a lifetime. It’s bound to change you but it’s a long game and there are no hacks. God changes us by his influence in our lives. You could say Christ was the original influencer and he set the standard high saying,“Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16), but he also makes a way for us to become like Him. Our part is to show up, to read His word, to sit silently and listen, and finally, to submit to His guidance.  

While the work is God’s, we are responsible for obeying his word and his calling on our lives. At Grace we often call these things “Next Steps”.  Once we have accepted God’s calling to be his child (aka salvation), He speaks to us through his word (the Bible) and through the Holy Spirit. He may be calling us to be baptized or to quit smoking, to join a Bible study or to simply meet with him for two minutes every day.  

Atomic Habits author James Clear emphasizes throughout his best-selling book that taking one teeny, tiny step in the right direction is what makes a huge life change.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dream Disciple? 

As a sixth grader, I was part of a vibrant church youth group. Our leaders taught us about this thing called “Quiet Time.” At Grace, we call this “Finding Your Chair”. It was my earliest introduction to the habit of spending daily time with God. Over the years, it’s become a solid habit, but that did not happen overnight. 

Something I wish I could say to every young-in-the-faith Christian is that, just like a newborn child grows up over a couple of decades, so a newborn Christian, communing faithfully with Christ, will grow.  If a new believer keeps their eyes on Christ, they will become more like him. It will require a real reworking, but God will do it.

What’s Your Next Step with Jesus?

Think about what your Next Step with Jesus is. He will lead you on the path of discipleship. Just like Jesus transformed a fisherman like Peter into a powerful preacher, or Esther the beauty queen into an icon of faith and courage, or Rahab the prostitute into a follower of Yahweh, he will transform you into a Dream Disciple.

You can also join us at Grace Leadership Institute for an upcoming Leadership One Day to learn from regional experts and ministry leaders how to become a better Christian leader and disciple of Jesus where you live, work, learn, and play.

Philippians 1:6 

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”

*This is a big word with a wonderful meaning.  According to Oxford dictionary sanctify means “to set apart as holy” and “to free from sin: purify”.