For Pastors

Pastors and leaders, thank you for caring deeply about whole-life discipleship and your commitment to seeing your community become healthy in all dimensions. The Discipleship Dynamics Assessment (DDA) is a biblical, empirically validated and comprehensive assessment of how individual believers and church communities are growing in Christ in five major Dimensions and 35 Outcomes.

How Can the Discipleship Dynamics Assessment Be Used?

In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus called his followers to “make disciples of all nations.” From the Bible we know that disciples are committed followers of Jesus Christ, actively growing in their faith and sharing the Good News with others. There are several passages in the Bible that offer insights into what maturing disciples look like. From the foundational Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12 to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 and the growth in maturity encouraged by both Paul I Corinthians 3; Philippians 3) and Peter (2 Peter 1:4-10), we see that there are clear goals for followers of Jesus. The Discipleship Dynamics Assessment takes biblical principles and articulates them in practical, measurable ways. It IS possible to know how we are doing in our walk with the Lord in all dimensions of life!

The DD Assessment and resources are your partners in your outreach to your community. They help inquirers understand what it means to follow Jesus. They help new members connect your programs with their personal growth. And, believe it or not, these resources also serve your evangelism and apologetic ministries as the fullness of the faith is on display, and the need for God’s grace and power become evident! We recommend that anyone interested in following Jesus take this assessment and then watch their growth as they participate in your local church.

There are many applications of the DDA as you nurture the small groups in your church. You can enhance your coaching and mentoring efforts with tangible goals. You might develop groups that target one or more of the Dimensions or Outcomes. If groups are studying Scripture, connections between the Bible passages and specific Outcomes will deepen your congregants’ appreciation for the Word. For greater detail check the “Leadership Selection and Training” section; the DDA is a great qualifier to see which folks are ready for the responsibility of leading others. No one will be perfect of course, but knowing particular strengths or weaknesses will offer insights that are helpful.

The DD Assessment and materials are designed for anyone aged 13+ with reasonable reading skills. We are planning to create a Youth Version in the near future that will allow students to see their schoolwork as their work. The DDA already takes into account whether folks are single or married, so lower scores concerning marriage and family issues will not reflect negatively on young, unmarried disciples.

Imagine middle and high school students being challenged to grow in their faith and discover all that Christ has provided for them. Imagine young adults graduating from high school with clarity about their strengths and weaknesses, able to hear from the Lord, knowing their spiritual gifts and possessing biblical ethics for their work!

Spiritual leadership involves God’s calling and the development of particular skills. In other words, leaders are both “born” and “developed.” The DDA provides clarity on personal maturity and will help you identify emerging leaders. Additional assessments are available from other providers for discovering spiritual gifts and discerning vocations. It is important to note that there are no perfect disciples, but Scripture does offer qualifiers for those aspiring to serve as leaders (I Timothy 3).

The DDA will help present leaders develop their strengths and get help for their needs. It can also help folks improve in areas that would hinder future effectiveness.

The Dimensions and Outcomes in the DDA are adaptable to any Christian Education program or discipleship process you have established. They can also be used as a practical framework for new initiatives. The important thing is making connections between your mission, vision, curricula, classes and seminars and the measurable Outcomes. The other important concept in discipleship is the integration of all the Dimensions, as God’s people connect Sunday worship and Monday’s work, spiritual disciplines and healthy relationships, personal wholeness and a sense of mission. There are so many ways to use the goals and results of the DDA.

Insights on Discipleship with Alton Garrison

Alton Garrison is the Assistant General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, USA.

Alton Garrison’s interview with Discipleship Dynamics at the launch of the Assemblies of God Discipleship Network.

Alton shares his thoughts and experiences related to discipleship, as well as his thoughts regarding the Discipleship Dynamics assessment and its impact on the local church.

How does this affect my church or organization?

Pastors and leaders, this assessment will help you with a “snapshot” of where you are in your community journey toward maturity as disciples of Jesus Christ. As Pastors and leaders, you are called to “make disciples.” What this assessment does is help you by providing clear goals and enabling you to focus your efforts. Because DD is not a curriculum or program, you and your community have the joy of listening to the Holy Spirit and finding out how to enhance the strengths that emerge and bring help to the weaknesses that need addressing.

Our website will point you in the direction of the best resources to help you. And please remember: all lasting growth comes from submission to God’s Word and utter dependence on the Holy Spirit. No one grows without the grace and power of the Spirit and the encouragement of their fellow-believers!