What does it mean to be a Phase 4B believer?
You are a mature believer actively leading a small group or ministry team and you feel responsible for helping others thrive spiritually and emotionally. You are assuming more leadership responsibilities in a church/ministry setting.You are ready to learn advanced theology, advanced ministry principles, Bible study development methods, and deepen your understanding of divisive faith topics.
You are experiencing more spiritual warfare than ever, and you are sometimes tempted by pride or ministry burnout. You recognize your position as a warrior in God’s army and you are intentional about maintaining healthy boundaries and healthy relationships.
“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)
In Human Development
Just as an adult has gained a level of experience and maturity, God is continuing to shape and mature you in your faith and leadership. He is challenging you to re-evaluate your worldview, exchange temporary things for eternal ones, confront real-life issues, walk in God’s grace, understand spiritual warfare and suffering in new ways, and approach difficulties and conflict more readily. Often spiritual warfare is intense during this phase and the threat of burnout increases. Disciples in this phase must make difficult decisions to adjust their expectations and continue following Jesus when life and ministry get tough.
In The Gospels
Jesus continued to model and teach Kingdom principles to His disciples, empowering them to take on leadership roles and disciple others, but He also made the cost of being a leader in the Kingdom very clear. Jesus’ difficult teachings to large crowds would cause many to stop following Him, but inspired His closest disciples to trust God even more and seek to flourish as Kingdom leaders (John 6:60-69). Jesus demonstrated the importance of prayer, reliance on the Holy Spirit, and a commitment to the commands of God the Father.
Jesus also demonstrated His glory on Mount Tabor in Israel, now called the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13). The Bible says that His face shone like the sun and He began talking with the spirits of Moses and Elijah. The disciples were witnesses to this holy moment but interrupted Jesus’ conversation with ideas about putting up shelters. Although the disciples had experience leading ministry with Jesus by this point, they still struggled with moments of self-reliance and spiritual pride.
You are building relationships with other leaders who can encourage you and relate to you. You are investing in relationships with those you are leading and discipling, showing them love, care, and respect. You are handling interpersonal conflict with grace, patience, and endurance and you are praying for your ministry and team regularly. You are careful not to neglect your own discipleship through a mentor, accountability partner, or small group. As your ministry schedule intensifies, you are careful not to neglect your family, recognizing they are your primary mission field.
You may experience hurt or disappointment from ministry peers or from those you are leading, which you seek to respond to with healthy confrontation, forgiveness, and humility. You practice submission to spiritual authority while exercising patience with ministry trainees you are discipling.
Growing In This Phase
In Phase 4B, signs of growth include:
- Deepening your understanding of advanced theology.
- Addressing areas of deep emotional shame.
- Refining your leadership habits and strategies and practical ministry skills.
- Cultivating a culture of discipleship and health in your home, church, and ministry and exemplifying a healthy work/life/ministry balance.
The demonstration of these life changes indicates that you are ready to move on to Phase 5a.
Recommendations For Growth:
Contact Worldwide Discipleship Association for more information.