Home Small Group Leaders Small Group Leaders Blogs 5 Stages of Spiritual Growth… Stage 3, The Spiritual Child

5 Stages of Spiritual Growth… Stage 3, The Spiritual Child

Each day this week I’m giving you information from the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual used at Real Life Ministries.

Real Life Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho is truly making disciples who make disciples. One of the key components of the training they give their disciple-makers/small group leaders is an understanding of the five stages of spiritual growth and how to disciple someone who is in any particular stage. The five stages are, 1) The Spiritually Dead, 2) The Spiritual Infant, 3) The Spiritual Child, 4) The Spiritual Young Adult, 5) The Spiritual Parent.

The third stage is The Spiritual Child, someone who is beginning to grow in Christ but still very young in their journey toward maturity. Check out this invaluable information.

A little explanation… “The Phrase from the Stage” is a list of phrases that are often used by people in that particular stage. This helps a disciple-maker to evaluate and conclude which stage a person is in.

1. Characterizing the Spiritual Child

a. Self-Centeredness

b. Idealism

c. Overconfidence or under-confidence


2. The Phrase from the Stage

a. “Don’t branch my group into two groups. It is comfortable for me right now.”

b. “Who are all these new people coming to our church? The church is getting too big.”

c. “I love my small group; don’t add any more people to it.”

d. “My small group is not taking care of my needs like they should.”

e. “I don’t have anyone who is spending enough time with me. No one is discipling me.”

f. “I didn’t like the music today. If they only did it like…”

g. “I am not being fed in my church, so I am going to a church that meets my needs better.”

h. “Pastor looked right at me and didn’t even say hello.”


3. The Spiritual Child’s Needs

a. A relational connection to a church family Help for how to start feeding themselves spiritually

b. Teaching about who they are in Christa

c. Teaching about how to have relationships with other believers

d. Teaching about appropriate expectations concerning other believers

Previous articlePut Your Problems in Perspective with 3 Words
Next articleDiscipleship: The Foundation for Quality and Quantity
Rick has one passion… To see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is presently pursuing this passion as the Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Rick has authored or co-authored multiple books, studies, and leader training resources including A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic, Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual, The Gospel and the Truth: Living the Message of Jesus, Small Group Life Ministry Manual: A New Approach to Small Groups, Redeeming the Tears: a Journey Through Grief and Loss, Small Group Life: Kingdom, Small Group Kickoff Retreat: Experiential Training for Small Group Leaders, and Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study, Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making. Rick’s varied ministry experiences as an collegiate minister, small group pastor, teaching pastor, elder, full-time trainer and church consultant, as well as having been a successful church planter gives him a perspective of church life that is all-encompassing and multi-dimensional. Rick is a highly sought after communicator and trainer.