What to expect

Discipleship Pathways


Most guides in life help people create measurable goals to achieve results. They’re good for looking at quantitative measures to give people clarity on where they are versus where they want to wind up. This book is not that. Self-improvements, like weight loss through diet and exercise, are measurable goals that can make use of math and hard science to help participants towards their goals. Discipleship is more of a soft science that involves more qualitative data and analysis making it a lot tougher to pin down where exactly someone is at. Determining what works to help someone towards their goals is a more complicated matter. No one is ever a finished disciple as a follower of Jesus.

It is our hope that this book will provide you with three things:

  1. Clarity on what a disciple of Jesus is.
  2. Thoughts and information to help you discern – in community – at Parliament Community Church, where you are in your journey.
  3. Useful tools and directions to help you continue to grow in knowledge and conformity with Christ.


We pray that this will help you discover belonging at Parliament Community Church and give you confidence in continued growth as a member of the church and as a follower of Jesus.

Landmarks on the Discipleship Path

No two people’s lives are identical, and the path of following Jesus also leads people through their specific journey. However, some familiar landmarks show up along the way that are similar shared experiences. The journeys may hold different experiences and follow different paths, but some things generally remain the same for all followers of Jesus. Not even all these landmarks may be seen in the same order, but they are all important parts on the discipleship pathway.

Characteristics of a Disciple

Parliament Community Church often talks about our mission in terms of “Gather, Grow, Go”.

We call people to gather together as families, groups, and as a church. All people are gifted by God with certain skills and abilities that we can offer for everyone’s benefit. Life as a disciple of Jesus is always lived best in community, not just as individuals. When we gather to serve, pray, enjoy fellowship, and worship, we most effectively embody the life of Jesus and best exemplify his people.

We invite people towards continued growth into a fuller representation of the image of God they have been created in. Some growth can take place through individual spiritual practices like prayer, Bible study, and service to others, but most long-term effective growth takes place in community. We need the encouragement and support of others to maintain a life of integrity and continued growth. We are also often blind to our own strengths and weaknesses. Growth in the context of Christian community is essential for discipleship.

We also desire to equip and empower people to go serve God. Discipleship is about far more than personal growth for our own benefit. Discipleship is about growing more fully into the image of God and using those developing gifts and abilities for both God and those around us out of the love that he has shown us through Jesus. Being a disciple isn’t just about what we get out of knowing God. It’s about what God can do through us for the world as we grow to know him more and submit ourselves to his service.

The Church
Discipleship begins with a growing understanding of personal sin and grows through repentance, baptism, and continued submission to the work of the Holy Spirit through prayer, study, and life in community with other believers.
Friends & Family
People may come in and out of the church with varying levels of understanding of God’s standards for his people. As disciples mature, they will accept their own failures and those of others with humility and grace. They will be an encouragement in word and deed to those around them to be Christlike.
The World
Perfection isn’t the beginning of discipleship. The church is to accept people regardless of what their current ways of thinking and living are. Discipleship is the path of continued growth into the likeness of Jesus. Responding to God’s grace with repentance in a non-Christian environment means loving and accepting people as made in the image of God regardless of whether they recognize it themselves.

01. Responding to God’s grace with repentance

No one is perfect. All people, to varying degrees, can be selfish, greedy, deceitful, mean-spirited, and even self-destructive. Everyone has ways of thinking and acting, both privately and publicly, that fall short of even what they believe is just, let alone what God’s standard of goodness is shown to be in the Old Testament law, through the life of Jesus, and the early church. The process of discipleship is exemplified through regular recognition and acceptance of our failures – or sin, as the Bible terms it – through guidance that comes through the Holy Spirit and then allowing God’s power to work in us through that same Spirit to help us think and act in line with how God created us with the potential to be, as people created in God’s image. A disciple continues to grow in understanding and recognition of their weaknesses and humbly seeks God’s help to grow in goodness, exemplifying the character of Jesus.

A disciple continues to grow in understanding and recognition of their weaknesses and humbly seeks God’s help to grow in goodness, exemplifying the character of Jesus.


  • Matthew 16:21-28
  • Romans 3:21-26
  • Romans 12:1-15
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Galatians 5:16-26
  • 1 John 1:8-10



  • Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
  • Knowing God (J.I. Packer)
  • Growing in Christ (J.I. Packer)
  • In Christ Alone (Sinclair Ferguson)



  • Men’s Ministry
  • Educational Resources
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Youth
  • Young Adults
  • Sunday School
  • Adult Discipleship Class (ADC)
  • Small Groups
  • Heritage Builders
Next Steps
  • Baptism/Membership Classes
  • Developing a growing understanding of one’s own weaknesses and failures
  • Choosing submission to God’s will over sinful patterns of behaviour
  • Moving from defensiveness towards acceptance of one’s own failings
  • Setting up appropriate personal and relational boundaries to avoid sin and help others to do the same
  • Establishing relationships with accountability
  • Practicing confession corporately in the church
  • Shares vulnerably of their struggles for personal growth and to help others