Ed Stetzer delivered an outstanding challenge on the topic of rethinking discipleship in a recent church planters' conference. I want to reproduce a portion of it here, especially the last line that walloped me both in the head and the heart.
"For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven't stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:9-10).
Notice the progression.
Knowing Being Doing
We can observe from Scripture a clear pattern that spiritual transformation begins with exposure to the truth. As God's revealed Truth (the Word) penetrates the mind it leads to the transformation of heart and character. The Apostle Paul expressed it this way:
"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).
The renewal of the mind, enabled by the inner working of the Holy Spirit, brings about spiritual growth.
Here you can see the pattern of knowledge leads to understanding (knowing), which leads to walking worthy (being), which leads to bearing fruit (doing).
It starts with knowing.
That is why in our research we found that the number one statistical correlation to spiritual maturity was the practice of reading the Bible. There was a strong relationship between those who grew spiritually and the practice of reading the Bible.
You don't need to get your people thinking you are clever, you need to get them thinking that the word of God is sufficient.