In Luke 6, we see Jesus participate in three phases of holistic discipleship expression: UP, IN, and OUT.
- The UP phase is represented by divine space, where the individual and the Spirit engage in the disciplines to continually mature one’s faith through personal worship, study, and practice. In this phase we are focused on enjoying the presence of God through our indwelt communion with Him. We see Jesus engage this phase by retreating and praying (Luke 6:12).
- The IN phase focuses upon the transparent space and the personal space. In biblical community, believers encourage and provoke one another to grow in knowledge, understanding, and good works. We see Jesus engage this phase by calling the 12 (Luke 6:13-16). Then, we further see it as His relationship with Peter, James, and John continues to develop throughout the Gospels.
- The OUT phase is represented by the expression of the people of God engaging the community and world in service and evangelism. Our formation in the UP and IN dimensions are lived out in front of those who witness us where we live, work, and play. We explicitly serve them in the name of Christ and we explicitly evangelize them with the person and work of Christ. We see Jesus engage this phase by ministering to the masses with the disciples (Luke 6:17-19).
To be balanced leaders, we must implement each of these phases in our own lives: devotional time with the Lord, time in our biblical community, and time spent with lost people to demonstrate the person and work of Christ. And to lead balanced groups, we must teach each phase, emphasizing a particular one as needed, through our words during group time, modeling of our lives with those we invite along from our groups, and stories of these phases from our lives.