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Discipleship: Doctrine, Character, Community, Mission

Ever since New Covenant began our Institute of Disciple Makers, we have been talking about growth in four categories: doctrine, character, community, and mission. I still find these categories very helpful. Whenever I meet with someone who already claims to be a follower of Jesus who is desiring "discipleship," I start by talking about doctrine, character, community, and mission.

In our youth group, we are striving to see our teens grow by trying to identify some core doctrines that we want all of them to understand and believe, along with some key goals in character, community and mission. Aside from the part about obeying parents, these goals are just as helpful for adults. I think this would be a good starting place as you begin to evaluate your own discipleship and seek to help others to be disciples of Jesus.



  • There is one God in three equally and fully divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • The person and works of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • God is the Creator of all things and sovereignly reigns over His creation and is accomplishing His purposes to bring Himself glory and redeem a people for Himself.

The Bible

  • Why we believe the Bible
  • The Bible is the authoritative, inspired, inerrant Word of God.
  • Able to read, understand, and apply God’s Word.

The Gospel

  • The gospel that is personal: God, Man, Christ, Response
  • The big picture gospel: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration
  • Election, substitutionary atonement, justification, sanctification, glorification
  • The functional centrality of the gospel

The Church

  • The function and importance of the local church
  • The purpose and priority of baptism and the Lord’s supper.


  • Wholehearted love for God demonstrated by a desire to know Him and follow Him
  • Obedience, honor, and love for parents and authority
  • The pursuit of holiness motivated by grace
  • The expression of our dependence on God through prayer and time in His Word


  • Love for others demonstrated by relationships marked by honesty, humility, and joyful servanthood
  • Meaningfully engaged in the life of the church


  • The ability and desire to spread the gospel to our families, community, and the world through our lives and our words

Four simple questions to ask

  • Doctrine- What truths do you need to better understand or believe?
  • Character- What are some areas of greatest temptation for you?
  • Community- How could you better follow the “one another” commands for the church?
  • Mission- How could you take steps to better follow Jesus’ command to make disciples?