Following Jesus: Assessment

 

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Rocklyn Clarke


Purpose

As we pursue discipleship it is important to be able to assess progress. This page provides some tools that you can use to assess your progress or that of someone whom you are discipling.


Assessment Tools

Transtheoretical Model: Stages of Change

This is a tool that may be helpful in assessing progress in discipleship.

The transtheoretical model construct stages of change is used in the recovery movement with regard to an action like deciding to eliminate use of addicting substances. Many thanks to Al Copeland for introducing us to this concept!

  • Precontemplation (“not ready”) – “People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behaviour is problematic”
  • Contemplation (“getting ready”) – “People are beginning to recognize that their behaviour is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions”
  • Preparation (“ready”) – “People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behaviour change”[nb 1]
  • Action – “People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behaviour or in acquiring new healthy behaviours”
  • Maintenance – “People have been able to sustain action for at least six months and are working to prevent relapse”
  • Termination – “Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping”[nb 2]

In addition, the researchers conceptualized “Relapse” (recycling) which is not a stage in itself but rather the “return from Action or Maintenance to an earlier stage”.[16][nb 3]

You can find more information about this tool at the following link:

Transtheoretical Model: Stages of change

Levels of Transformation

This is another tool that can be helpful in assessing progress in discipleship. In the next section we have provided examples of how it might be applied to each of the 7 components of the discipleship curriculum.

These Levels of Transformation are adapted from EHS Five Levels of Transformation:

https://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/why-transformation-takes-so-long/?v=7516fd43adaa

1- Aware.

People hear about a concept for the first time (e.g. Sabbath, slowing down, past’s impact on the present, grieving, learning to feel).

2- Ponder.

People think about it, trying to understand or sort through issues as they gather more information. At this point they don’t have a clear inclination for or against it. (e.g. They continue reading, listen to messages, go through a course, learn a few skills, talk about it with others).

3- Value.

People think it’s important, find value in it, and commit to it, saying, “I really believe in this concept.” They begin to do a few new things such as related exercises, a daily or weekly practice, incorporate the concept into some relationships, or lead a course or a group.

THE ACTION/BEHAVIORAL GAP

4- Prioritize.

This is the largest, most important shift for people (assuming they get over the action/behavioral gap). Now they have to shift their time, schedule, and energy to make the concept a priority in order to live consistently with their new value.

5- Own.

At this point, they live the concept consistently. All their decisions and actions are based on it. Their life and values are now congruent and they have become “unconsciously competent.”

For further information on Bloom’s seminal work on how people learn, go to:

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html


Assessing Progress With The Seven “F”s

(Under Construction)

Our discipleship training passes through the following phases or components: Focus On the Message, Family Up, Flow In the Spirit, Face Your Problems, Farm Your Land, Find Your Purpose, Fulfill Your Mission. Below, we have provided a description of how the 5 transformation levels might look for each of these 7 components. This material is likely to be updated as more people make use of our curriculum.

Focus On the Message

Begin by focusing on Jesus’ message and the Bible’s unified story that leads to him.

Transformation Level  
Aware You are aware of the 3 basic areas of Focus on the Message: the Gospels, the Sermon on the Mount, the whole Bible. You are aware of the godly habits that apply to each of these areas.
Ponder You participate in our “Following Jesus: Focus on the Message” training and consider new related habits that you might adopt.
Value You have begun reading through the gospels and you have a plan for reading through the entire Bible.
You are developing godly habits in this area.
Prioritize In addition to reading through the gospels, you are reading through the entire Bible and regularly reviewing the Sermon on the Mount.
You are turning these reading habits into skills.
Own You are guiding others through the “Focus on the Message” material.

Family Up

Develop the understanding and discipline you will need to be an effective part of Jesus’ family.

Transformation Level  
Aware You are aware of the key components of the Family Up component: Kingdom Congregation, Kingdom Family, Kingdom Partner. You are aware of the godly habits that support each of these components.
Ponder You attend a life group in addition to Sunday service.
Value You faithfully attend Sunday service and life group.
You are developing godly habits in this area.
Prioritize You are helping to lead your life group.
Own You have successfully multiplied a life group and/or started a life group from scratch.

Flow in the Spirit

Jesus is present in his church through his Spirit. Learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit in every area of your life.

Transformation Level  
Aware You are aware of the godly habits that support maturity in the “Flow in the Spirit” area. You recognize that God can speak to people apart from (but never in contradiction to) the Bible.
Ponder You’re talking to others about what they hear God saying to them.
Value You are spending time listening to God and asking him to lead you by his Spirit.
You are developing godly habits in this area.
Prioritize You are spending consistent time listening to God and you discuss what you hear with others.
Own You regularly share what God is saying to you with others in your life group. You help others hear from God.

Face Your Problems

In Christ you can face your problems and overcome them!

Transformation Level  
Aware You are part of a life group in which people share about the problems they face.
Ponder You are exploring solutions to your problems and considering how God might help you deal with them.
Value Similarly to Recovery Step 4, you have made a searching and fearless inventory of your moral faults and personal challenges.
Prioritize Similarly to Recovery Step 5, you have admitted to God, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your faults and problems. You are actively relying on God’s help and making amends wherever necessary and appropriate.
Own You are following your plans for dealing with your problems and adjusting them as necessary. You are transparent about your progress with trusted members of your life group.

Farm Your Land

Learn how to function fruitfully wherever God has placed you.

Transformation Level  
Aware You recognize your responsibilities in the following areas: family support, work, school, community service.
Ponder You recognize that you have responsibilities for God’s Kingdom as well.
Value You are learning how to seek God’s Kingdom first.
Prioritize You view your other responsibilities from the perspective of God’s Kingdom.
Own You are faithfully advancing God’s Kingdom and successfully managing your other responsibilities.

Find Your Purpose

Discover the ways that God wants to use you.

Transformation Level  
Aware You are part of a life group in which others are pursuing their purposes.
Ponder You have begun to wonder what your purpose is – what God put you on earth to do.
Value You have taken personality tests and gifts inventories. You are getting input about your gifts from the people in your life group and others who know you.
Prioritize You are consistently spending time in prayer, reflection, and community to discover your purpose.
Own You understand your purpose and you are rearranging your life to support accomplishing it.

Fulfill Your Mission

Accomplish the things that God want to do through you.

Transformation Level  
Aware You understand that every follower of Jesus has a mission.
Ponder You are exploring how your purpose and your current circumstances lead to a current mission for your to accomplish.
Value You have inventoried and evaluated the networks you are part of, the resources to which you have access, and the opportunities you have.
Prioritize You are rearranging your life in order to facilitate accomplishing your mission.
Own  

Putting Them Together

These phases have a significant amount of overlap, so they are not completely consecutive. That notwithstanding, each phase builds on the one that precedes it. As your disciple progresses through these phases, you will help him/her to:

  1. Develop godly habits
  2. Turn godly habits into skills.
  3. Turn godly habits and skills into his/her ministry.

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Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Rocklyn Clarke

Resource Lists (for your convenience)

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Acknowledgements

Please join me in acknowledging the key people who contributed to this material!

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