The key to
Christian growth

If you’ve felt alone in your discipleship journey – or lack thereof – you’re not alone.

In his book, Growing True Disciples, George Barna says, “My study of discipleship in America has been eye-opening. Almost every church in our country has some type of discipleship program or set of activities, but stunningly few churches have a church of disciples.

That’s why DrawNear was birthed. We knew there had to be a better way to disciple believers that resulted in growth and fruit.

Jesus, Our Model

Jesus was intently focused on equipping the first disciples during his time on earth.

He was preparing them to take the Church forward, so he treated them like apprentices.

Here’s an overview of his model:

  • They heard about the Kingdom of God through his teachings and instructions.
  • They saw God at work by watching Jesus’s actions and how he lived his life.
  • Jesus directed them to do many activities that he had modeled for them; this included several spiritual disciplines.

Learning through hearing, seeing, and doing has been proven to be the most effective way to learn.

The Problem With Discipleship

The Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor (i.e., constraint) that stands in the way of achieving a goal and then systematically improving that constraint until it is no longer the limiting factor.

In short, it’s a method for finding the bottleneck that stands in the way of getting results, so we can focus our efforts on improving it.

Applied to the disciple-making problem, you can see that most programs have bottlenecks that look like this:


The church’s focus has been building ministries that give people opportunities to HEAR (or read about) the gospel.

We have lovely preaching ministries, elaborate small group networks, and countless books and programs for scripture study.

While these things are essential, these efforts have created a significant imbalance.

When people aren’t given enough opportunities to SEE and DO, they cannot integrate the Christian teachings into their daily lives.

How to See and Do

You can search out opportunities to SEE and DO in your devotional life.

→ Listen to stories

The Bible is a great place to start!

Research has shown that the right kind of stories–simple, unpretentious, positive–inspire people to change.

Stories inspire you to change because they help you:

SEE clearly what you’re being asked to do.
SEE where you’re headed and why it’s worthwhile.

Read stories in the Bible, particularly the Gospels, to visualize what it looks like to be a disciple (and be more motivated to become one).

→ Practice makes perfect

Research also shows that practice (or DOING) is an essential component to forming new habits.

Here are some ways to do more practicing:

    • Care for seniors in your community.
    • Start or participate in an outreach.
    • Spend time in a small, closed group of believers.
    • Learn the essential practices of faith and then use them.
    • Go out and help others live the gospel, share the good news, and disciple these new believers.

Or use the DrawNear app as a guided practice into the doing of spiritual practices. Inside, you’ll find a few options, like the Daily Pause, where a mentor will guide you through a practice. Or choose an area in the Struggles section, where you can select a topic (such as anxiety) and use the tools to work through that anxiety with God.

Ready to incorporate hearing, seeing, and doing into your life and become a true disciple?

Check out the Draw Near app. It takes practices from the Bible, each one connecting us with God, so that our burdens can become God’s burdens. Each practice includes a set of simple, straightforward steps, as well as entertaining and inspiring stories to illustrate someone using the practice. In addition, the app offers numerous sessions guided by mentors, each deeply grounded and experienced in using the practices.