During the preparation for this written assignment there was one consistent thought among the authors of the research material: Christian education is a very high calling. Howard Hendricks states that the Christian educator strives for nothing less than the transformation of the believer into the image of Christ. The focus of this paper will be on how to go about such a transformation that results in the creation of disciples who worship Jesus Christ. Education, discipleship, and spiritual formation will first be defined and then compared and contrasted. With that task completed, views will be offered on which of these church ministry should be most interested in and why followed by the connection of each of these areas to worship. Concluding remarks will discuss the essential activity of Christian ministry and the evidence of discipleship.
Spiritual formation or growth is the things one does in becoming a disciple. These are intentional personal investments that are the primary responsibility of those who follow Christ and desire to be conformed to His image. Spiritual formation of believers and continuing growth of their knowledge of the faith is a process resulting in disciples. Discipleship is the process used to accomplish this growth in the individual believer and utilizes Christian education as the key to this process. Various educational approaches may be employed in the process of spiritual formation in the believer but the goal is the creation of mature disciples of Jesus Christ, who then, once properly equipped, may go forth and effectively produce disciples. Each of the three areas under discussion have their own traits but each area is interrelated to the others and are dependent upon one another for accomplishing the ultimate goal of discipleship.