Finding Your Disciplemaking Rhythm

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David Sunde Introduces You to the Rhythms of Disciplemaking Series

Thank you for joining us for the first post in the Rhythms of Disciplemaking three-part series. In his book, Small-Batch Disciplemaking: A Rhythm for Training the Few to Reach the Many, David Sunde offers seven disciplemaking rhythms (or as David explains, one rhythm that is expressed in seven ways). This series includes three of the seven rhythms. In this first post, you’ll be introduced to a practical way to see where God has been at work in your life. This will provide a foundation as you prepare to disciple another follower of Jesus.

Identifying God in the larger story of your life will help you share with others your story of life in Christ. Only when we step back and piece together meaningful events, experiences, and relationships can we understand and articulate our stories better. First, look at how your life has unfolded to this point. Then consider how God was present and at work in the unfolding. It works better to avoid doing this in one sitting. Take time to think it over and revisit it a few times.

It’s hard to see God’s hand in a particular event, especially in the present. It isn’t until we look back later that we gain insight as to how God was at work. Maybe it helps to think of the series of events like footprints in the sand. If we can begin to find God’s activity in the sequence, we can understand how God might guide, equip, and call us to serve. As you start to think through critical moments in your spiritual life, consider the following questions.

1. How can you see God in the progression of your life? In other words, are there doors that are closed?

2. Which doors have opened in the last two to three years (jobs, relationships, invitations, opportunities)?

The timeline below asks questions like Where have you been? and What events, people, decisions, and opportunities have shaped your life in Christ? Remember, closed doors are part of God’s confirmation. While they might be disappointing, they provide the guidance we seek from God.


Think through the following three categories, and map your responses on a blank piece of paper that serves as your timeline.

  1. Peaks and valleys. What major events and circumstances have marked your life’s journey to this point? They can be positive or negative. On your timeline, list above and below the line significant decisions, people, accomplishments, and events that have shaped you into who you are today. (Remember: This is hard to do in one sitting. It’s helpful to come back to it as you think through the impact of formative times.)
  2. Speed bumps, detours, and the scenic route. What were some speed bumps along the way? Even with goals in mind, you can’t avoid adversity and setbacks. You absorbed and overcame these lows along the way. While you may never want to go through them again, they likely proved to be formative. Consider the following questions:
    • What struggles in the past helped shape your faith and resolve today?
    • Did you get helpful, surprising, or unsettling feedback?
    • What doors closed? Where did you hear the clearest nos?
    • Are there any difficult circumstances that, in looking back, you realize God has used to strengthen your faith or character?
  3. Themes and lessons. What themes seem to recur in your conversations, relationships, or Scripture reading? Are there subjects you return to regularly in prayer or reading? (A few examples include community, obedience, calling, surrender, lordship, generosity, spiritual gift identification, personal intimacy with God, concern for the vulnerable and marginalized, and service during different seasons of growth.)
    • Can you think of significant life events or key decisions that shaped your life in Christ?
    • Was there a relationship that taught, encouraged, or challenged you to address a blind spot that was inhibiting your growth?
Memorize 2 Timothy 2:2: “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”


Begin applying this verse as you serve in ministry with and for others. Also begin thinking about, discussing with others, and asking God whom you might apprentice and minister alongside.

David Sunde

David Sunde has been involved in professional non-profit and spiritual leadership for over 20 years. He’s a native son of San Francisco, California, with a bachelor’s in public administration from San Diego State University and a master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Semiotics, Culture & the Church through George Fox University. David and his wife, Laurel, have two kids, Bjorn and Annika and live in Austin, TX.

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