Discipleship Goals and Reading

By James Rochford

Grace versus Legalism. Our goal is to see the person (1) confess sin and claim grace, (2) set goals under grace and shake off failure, (3) understands God’s part in ministry, (4) understands prioritized ethics, (5) knows the true role of the law, and (6) consistently gives thanks.

Spiritual maturity and sanctification. Our goal is to see that the person (1) knows about their identity in Christ, (2) understands the difference between indicatives and imperatives, (3) rejects “quick fixes” in favor of true spiritual growth, (4) practices the means of growth, (5) has shown victory over discrediting sin, (6) loyal to God over materialistic goals, and (7) is convincing that self-giving love is the key to fulfillment.

Bibliology and hermeneutics. Our goal is to see that the person (1) is able to defend biblical authority, inspiration, inerrancy, and canoncity, (2) uses the grammatical-historical method, (3) knows inductive study, (4) finds answers to questions through Bible study tools, (5) can answer common attacks against hermeneutics, (6) knows how to handle most Bible difficulties, and (7) understands salvation history.

Theology proper. Our goal is to see that the person (1) knows God’s attributes and how to apply these to their life, (2) can articulate and defend the Trinity, (3) understands what it means to be made in the image of God, and (4) able to correct common misconceptions about God’s attributes.

Satanology. Our goal is to see that the person (1) can explain who Satan is in contrast to false teaching on him, (2) understands the importance of spiritual warfare, (3) understands occult practice and the importance of prayer in binding Satan, and (4) understands the world system and the proper response to it.

Evangelism and apologetics. Our goal is to see that the person (1) is able to share their own testimony, (2) tries to share their faith, (3) understands the decision continuum, (4) has brought people who have received Christ, (5) is conversant with major cultural worldviews, and (6) understands and participates in world evangelism.

Ecclesiology. Our goal is to see that the person is (1) active in body life, (2) embraces the importance of ministry, (3) knows the difference between Israel and the church, (4) understands spiritual gifts, and (5) understands the different offices and aspects of the church (e.g. finances).

Friendships and Relationships. Our goal is to see that the person is (1) able to maintain lasting friendships, (2) able to resolve conflict, (3) has practiced sexual self-control, (4) has adjusted to marriage and fulfills role as spouse and parent, and (5) is known as a loving person inside and outside the church (e.g. patient, kind, sacrificial, honest, etc.).

Pneumatology and Christology. Our goal is to see that the person is (1) able to explain the ministries of the Holy Spirit, (2) knows the difference between the role of the Holy Spirit in the OT and NT, (3) ready to answer aberrant teaching on the Holy Spirit, (4) sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and (5) Knows scriptures and can articulate the uniqueness of Christ, His dual natures, His deity, His work, and His return.

Further Reading

For each of these topics, consider reading the following books:


McCallum, Walking in Victory

Chuck Smith, Why Grace Changes Everything

Stanford, Green Letters

Keller, The Prodigal God (better for church kids)

Murray, The True Vine

Thompson, Glory of the Gospel

Rochford, Articles on Salvation (Includes Calvinism-Arminianism, Lordship Theology, Do Good People Go to Heaven, Eternal Security, etc.)


Crabb, Understanding People

Getz, Measure of a Man

Nee, Love Not the World

Nee, Normal Christian Worker

Nee, Sit, Walk, Stand

Nee, Normal Christian Life

Thielicke, Encounter with Spurgeon

Murray, Abide in Christ

Murray, Absolute Surrender

Sanders, Spiritual Maturity


Chuck Smith, Effective Prayer Life

Hybels, Too Busy Not to Pray

Hallesby, Prayer

Bibliology and Hermeneutics

R. Laird Harris, Inspiration and Canonicity

Geisler and Nix, From God to Us

Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation

Fee and Stuart, How the Read the Bible For All Its Worth

Archer, Survey of Old Testament Introduction

Rochford, Articles on Scripture (Includes Historicity, VPI, Inerrancy, Canonicity, Hermeneutics, etc).

Theology proper

Packer, Knowing God

Erikson, Christian Theology

Wenham, Goodness of God

Copan, Is God a Moral Monster

Rochford, Articles on God (Includes the Trinity, Attributes of God, Open Theism, etc.).


McCallum, Satan and His Kingdom

Unger, What Demons Can Do to Saints

Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance

Lewis, Screwtape Letters

Evangelism and Apologetics

Newman, Questioning Evangelism

Rochford, Bibliography on Apologetics

Rochford, Articles on Apologetics (Includes Science and Scripture, Truth, Prophecy, Goodness of God, etc.)


McCallum, Members of One Another

McCallum, Organic Discipleship

Coleman, Master Plan of Evangelism

Ogden, Transforming Discipleship

Rochford, Ecclesiology

Friendships and Relationships

McCallum and DeLashmutt, Spiritual Relationships that Last

McCallum, Organic Disciplemaking (Chapter on relationship building)

Sande, Peacemaker

Sande, Resolving Everyday Conflict (Shorter than Peacemaker)

DeLashmutt, Loving God’s Way

Crabb, Marriage Builder

McGinnis, The Friendship Factor (for HS students)

Fernando, Reclaiming Friendship

Pneumatology and Christology

Stott, The Cross of Christ

Erikson, Christian Theology

Blaine Smith, Knowing God’s Will

Chuck Smith, Charisma vs. Charismania

Rochford, Articles on Christ (Includes Christology, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Lord, Liar, Lunatic, Legend, etc.)

Rochford, Articles on Pneumatology (Includes Pneumatology, Charismatic Gifts, Critique of the Second Blessing, Critique of Faith Healers, etc.)