Friedens' Discipleship Process

Friedens' Discipleship Process has two main parts: "Core Characteristics" of spiritual maturity, and a "Discipleship Pathway" that applies the Core Characteristics in age- and developmentally-appropriate ways.  The Core Characteristics and Discipleship Pathway deeply influence the direction, content, and goals of Friedens' ministries.  In Colossians 1:28-29, the apostle Paul said: "[Christ] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.  To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me."  Paul was passionately dedicated to developing spiritual maturity in the people to whom he ministered, and Friedens strives to apply this same level of dedication.

Core Characteristics of Spiritual Maturity

These are the primary characteristics that the ministry of Friedens Church is seeking to develop in the people of Friedens Church.

  • Understand the Gospel message

    The main parts of the Gospel message are: 1) God created us to live in a loving relationship with Him; 2) sin separates us from God and earns us the spiritual death penalty; 3) Jesus’ death paid the penalty for sin, and His resurrection secures the victory over sin, evil, and death; and 4) the God-ordained way of being reconciled with Him is by trusting in what Jesus has done for us through His life, death, and resurrection. 

  • Trust in Christ alone for salvation

    Since the only way to have a restored relationship with God is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), spiritual maturity is impossible without trusting in Christ alone for salvation.  No amount of intrinsic goodness, behavior modification, religious activity, moral lifestyle, good deeds, or positive thinking can reconcile us with God.  Trusting in Christ alone for salvation means that we: confess that we are sinful, repent by turning to God, and trust Christ to come into our lives to forgive us of our sins and make us who He wants us to be.  This is a decision that each person must consciously make. 

  • Embrace the cost of discipleship

    Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”  Grace is a free and joyous gift, yet that doesn’t mean that following Jesus is an easy path.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “[Grace] is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.  It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner…Grace is costly because it compels a man to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him; it is grace because Jesus says: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light.’…As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death – we give over our lives to death.  Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.  When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”  Similarly, the apostle Paul said: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).  In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus advises that anyone who wants to follow Him weighs the cost so they will be ready to surrender to Him in increasing measure.