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The Discipleship Wheel (with questions) (Free)

This is a great tool in understanding the different stages of spiritual maturity. When sharing the discipleship process, the key is to keep it simple and interactive.  If it is taught or made too complicated, people will disengage. This diagram is a simple method of conveying the process to others. (This is the same  discipleship wheel used in the DiscipleShift1 trainings.)

The Big Discipleship Wheel is a good visual example of the process.  As you discuss the stages of growth, be sure to discuss the three roles being played out within each stage:

  • My part – What is my part as the one discipling the other person in each stage?
  • Their part – What is the other person’s part as the one being discipled in each stage?
  • God’s part – What is God’s part in each stage?  How is God working, moving, guiding, drawing and directing throughout the entire process?

Using the the Big Discipleship Wheel diagram along with the Discipleship Wheel  and Phrases from the Stages diagram (other resource available) is often helpful to those who are more visual learners.

The process of spiritual maturity has been divided up into five stages:


SPIRITUALLY DEAD: People in this stage have not yet accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. They may completely reject God, they may be seeking God, they may be “spiritual”, they may even claim to know God or be a Christian, when in reality, they are their own god.

INFANT: People in this stage have accepted Christ, but haven’t moved much past that point. They can be new believers or they might be stagnant, long-time Christians. Life is generally all about them and their needs.

CHILD: People in this stage are growing in their relationship with God and are also beginning to grow in their relationship with other Christians. They are applying God’s Word in their life and allowing others to walk beside them in their journey following Christ. However, it’s still mostly about them – their needs, comfort, etc.  

YOUNG ADULT: People in this stage are making a big shift from being self-centered to more others-centered. They’re beginning to understand their role as a giver, rather than a taker – ministering to others, putting others first – being doers of the Word.

PARENT: People in this stage have a solid understanding of God’s Word and a deep, abiding relationship with the Father. They are living out God’s Word in their daily life. They are others-centered and God-dependent. They are able to reproduce mature disciples of Jesus by inviting others to follow them as they follow Christ.


  • IMPORTANT: This is a tool – a language for leaders. These stages are not designed to label people or to put them in a box.
  • This is a way to assess others and ourselves. It is designed to help us know where people are spiritually so we can know where they need to be and how to help take them there.
  • There is a process of spiritual maturity that people go through. This will vary from person to person. Understand that people are complicated and can be in various stages at different times.

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”  – John 17:4 (NIV) 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19 (NIV) 

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  – Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

“My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”  – John 17:20-21 (NIV)

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18 (NIV)


In this exercise you are going to be looking at “My Part”, “Your Part”, and “God’s Part” in each stage of the Spiritual Growth process. 


  • Using the quarter sheet PARENT section, quickly explain the different pieces of this chart, including My Part, Their Part and God’s Part.
  • Divide your group into four teams. The participants will be taking on the role of the Spiritual Parent (discipler).
    Facilitator: This is a team effort. Encourage everyone to participate.
  • Assign each team a “disciplee” in a different stage of spiritual maturity: Dead, Infant, Child, Young Adult.
    Facilitator: Let the participants know that they can use the charts on the following pages to help them fill out their section of the wheel…
    (Tip: Make this exercise personal. When filling this out, be thinking of a person that you know in the particular stage you have been assigned.)
  • The participants will then, in their individual teams, fill out the section of the wheel they have been given. 
  • When the group completes their part of the wheel, have them hang it on the wall into the correct section of the wheel alongside the Parent section that you have already placed on the wall.
  • Next, the teams will come up (starting with DEAD) to present their section to the rest of the group.
  • When you have completed this exercise, you will have all of the sections of the wheel showing the complete Discipleship Process. You as a group have just taken someone through a Reproducible Disciple Making Process. Now that we have walked through the discipleship process, here are some questions for your group to reflect on…
    • Do you believe you are a disciple maker?
    • Is there ever a time that you are not a disciple maker?
File Type: Portable Document Format (.pdf file)
Target Audience: Young Adult/Adult
Format: 1 on 1, Small Group/Home Group
Time Frame: 6 weeks- 1 hour per week

Created by:

Real Life Ministries
1866 N Cecil Road
Post Falls, ID 83854