Imagine you’re a farmer who decides to plant some seeds. You dig a hole and put them in the ground. You may even fertilize and water the plant to help create the best possible conditions for growth. But the growth isn’t just dependent on your actions. It’s also dependent on rain, sunlight, soil, and other factors that are outside of your control.
Your efforts can foster a good growing environment, but they’re not what grows the plant.
As a follower of Jesus, you’ll spend your whole life on earth learning to live like Jesus and follow his teachings. Once the seed of faith is planted in your life, there are many opportunities to help you grow and develop as a disciple.
Like with plants, we don’t control our spiritual growth—that’s in God’s hands. But you can create a good growing environment by choosing to pursue different spiritual and serving opportunities.
At Cottage Grove, these opportunities take the form of the Discipleship Pathway.
The Discipleship Pathway is broken into four stages. Don’t worry if you’ve done different activities in multiple stages—the goal is to help you generally identify where you’re at in your discipleship journey so you can choose the next best step.
The Seed stage represents those who are invited to place their faith in Jesus, have salvation through his death and resurrection, and begin a new life with God and alongside His people.
As one grows into the Sprout stage, they may use their gifts to serve those both inside and outside the church, all while growing in personal spiritual disciplines that open them up to work the Holy Spirit may do in their life.
As one matures into the Sapling stage, they continue to establish healthy spiritual rhythms and share spiritual truths with those around them. In this phase, they may also learn to better lead others to God and develop skills that may help them become a stronger leader in the church.