Jim McClendon’s 4 stages of the Christian Life

Chuck Conniry shares Jim McClendon’s 4 stages of the Christian life in Soaring in the Spirit:

1. Introduction- our first encounter with the way of Christ. The church has often used catechism and instruction to facilitate this phase of a believer’s life. It is filled with knowledge intake, instruction.

2. Initiation- this is the transition from our way of life into the way of Christ. Conversion often happens here and baptism is often used as the rite and marker for it.

3. Following- this stage is more commonly referred to as ‘discipleship’ learning to follow through with our commitment to follow Jesus, living as we believe. Taking and living out the implication of Eucharist is expressed in this stage.

4. Christian Soaring- corporate discernment. This process is found in group settings who seek to live/discover the Christ ‘in the now’. Romans 12 offers the framework, offering as living sacrifices (logikos and latreia). There are 2 molds in Romans 12; one of the image of Jesus, the other the imprint of our culture. Paul encourages us collectively and individually to be transformed and not conformed.

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