First Follower: A Ruthless Self-Assessment

If you want to be a disciple you have to to be willing to look foolish and “have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.” Followership is at the heart of disciple-making.


The First Follower at this concert is able to break from the group and head in a new direction because he lives with no shame. In scripture, shame is the result of our sin in the garden. When Adam hears God walking in the Garden, the Genesis account says, “He was afraid, because he was naked; so I hid.” Out of fear, we would rather hide than live without shame.

Therefore, the 2nd Mark of Discipleship to Grow As A Follower is the process of coming out of hiding so that we can live unashamed lives with one another (3rd Mark).

The most effective input we can do for this is the process of Confession or as A.A. describes Steps 4 & 5: A Fearless Moral Inventory Shared With God and Another Human Being.

As the Big Blue book says, “We started upon a personal inventory…a business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose the damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values. We did the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure…” This is what the process of confession reveals, and through that process we begin to grow as a follower.

So consider this additional action step—In order to Grow as a Follower, my next step is to do a ruthless self-assessment.

Process of Confession

  1. Read: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  (1 John 1:8)
  2. Pray Psalm 138:
  • Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    • test me and know my anxious thoughts.
  • See if there is any offensive way in me,
    • and lead me in the way everlasting.
  1. Write out a complete and ruthless self-assessment of your short-comings Consider using this material from AA– 4th Step Worksheets
  2. Share them with God and/or a Trusted Spiritual Advisor*
  3. Read the Assurance of Pardon:

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (1 Tim 1:15). So who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for you, Christ rose for you, Christ reigns in power for you, Christ prays for you. (Romans 8:34) Because God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). Friends, believe the good news.

*Key qualities of a trusted spiritual advisor: patient, kind, prayerful, spiritually mature, confidential, not given to gossip, sits in a position of mercy not judgment, and will not recoil in horror at your list because his/her list would be just as long.