Stumble points: What does it require to be a spiritual parent?

D. Stumble points: What does it require to be a spiritual parent?

1. Spiritual parents continue to have the ministry they discovered as teens. This is their “career” in the church and the result of their discovery and learning to use their spiritual gifts.

2. Spiritual families result when mature Christians form committed partnerships. Finding and learning how to be a good partner are major goals of adolescence.

3. They learn to balance “career” and “family” and give the higher priority to family.

4. Their purpose in life gains focus in a few, specific people in which they deeply invest. Jesus helped the crowd but focused on the disciples.

5. Spiritual parents provide the appropriate nurture, guidance and freedom that their disciples need at each stage of growth.

6. Spiritual parents are actively involved with their disciples as needed on an ongoing basis. This involvement with spiritual children is life long.

7. Parenting is learned behavior; children learn to be good parents by experiencing good parenting.

HOMEWORK Discussion Questions:

4.30 Who do you know at this stage?

4.31 What is your church doing with people at this stage?

4.32 What church problems arise with people this stage?

4.33 How can you help these people fulfill their calling?

4.34 What would a church designed entirely for people at this stage be like? Know one?

4.35 Is the pastor a spiritual parent in your church? Is anyone else?

4.36 How does your church encourage people to form committed spiritual partnerships?

4.37 Who were your spiritual parents? Grandparents?

4.38 What groups and activities do you have in your church for each stage of spiritual maturity?





[1] The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through

[2][3] [4][5] [6][7] [8]

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.

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