Home Small Group Leaders Small Group Leaders Blogs 5 Stages of Spiritual Growth… Stage 4, The Spiritual Young Adult

5 Stages of Spiritual Growth… Stage 4, The Spiritual Young Adult

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 fourth stage is The Spiritual Young Adult. As you’ll see, this person is on the move toward maturity but is still not ready to disciple others.

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 Young Adult

a. Serving others with joy

b. Others-centered with humility

c. Sacrificing for others


2. The Phrase from the Stage

a. “I love my group, but there are others who need a group like this.”

b. “I think I could lead a group with a little help. I have three friends I have been witnessing to, and this group would be too big for them.”

c. “Look how many are at church today – it’s awesome! I had to walk two blocks from the closest parking spot.”

d. “Randy and Rachel missed group and I called to see if they are okay. Their kids have the flu, so maybe our group can make meals for them. I’ll start.”

e. “In my devotions, I came across something I have a question about.”

f. “I noticed that we don’t have an old folks’ visitation team. Do you think I could be involved?”


3. The Spiritual Young Adult’s Needs

a. A place to learn to serve and grow

b. A spiritual parent who will debrief with them about ministry experiences

c. Ongoing relationships that offer encouragement and accountability

d. Help for establishing boundaries

e. Guidance regarding appropriate expectations of people they will serve

f. Skills training

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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.