Shifting the Mindset of Discipleship

Your mindset determines so much of your daily decision making. A mindset is your beliefs, ideas, and attitude toward a circumstance or challenge that you will take action on. For example, I grew up in Ohio and learned to drive in the snow and ice. When I drive over ice, I have a mindset that I should slow down, make slow movements, and not panic. However, if you grew up and never encountered snow and ice, you may not have this mindset even though you have the knowledge. So, when you encounter ice, you may hit the gas, overcorrect steering, or even panic even though you knew you shouldn’t.

Most of us have a mindset of how discipleship happens: In-person, online, Sunday school, small groups, one on one, one on three, master teacher, etc. But what if we challenged our mindset of discipleship and took a fresh perspective on our personal preferences or ideas to see our church and community reached in a disciple making process? Certainly, we can all agree 2020 has presented new challenges, so wouldn’t it be wise to move from our mindset from where it has been to where God is leading? Leader, if you have never driven on ice, you are now. Let’s join together in the following ways to reach our communities for Christ!

Start Where You Are to Get Where You Want to Go

In a fixed mindset, a person may shy away from new challenges. They may even get upset when they hear negative feedback before processing the information given. The urge to give up may also dominate their thoughts, fearing they cannot do something. Situations that arise with opposition to change may too quickly derail any progress.

In a growth mindset, a person will try until they succeed. Failure is not an option, just another lesson learned. They welcome challenges, feedback, and solving problems. Often it requires learning new things and acquiring new skills to see things in a new light. Once you are in a growth mindset, then you are ready to discover where God is leading you and your church in discipleship.

How Do Disciples Change Their Mindset?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing, and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

Disciples learn. Asking trusted leaders for a book recommendation, reading trusted blogs or weekly leadership newsletters for relevant information is a great start. Listening to podcasts such as our own on or watching discussions weekly on can also be a great place to hear new ideas and learn best practices. Learning is pivotal. Equally as important for a disciple to change takes action.

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19

Disciples take action. Jesus lead the disciples to a new mindset by a call to action. We, too, need to take action to get a different outcome. The impact of our churches in our community depends on a step of obedience. To change your mindset, you must first assess your mindset. Only then can God begin a new work in your mind to allow Him to work through your ministry efforts in a fresh way. A program can change a moment, a mindset can change the world.

For more information, please contact the Discipleship team of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and schedule a consultation. You can also join the conversation on Facebook!

Published November 17, 2020