Discipling Different Characters

  1. Many disciples have various temperaments. Although there is a danger in generalizing too much, and many character traits will overlap, these insights help disciple the character and heart of Gods people.
  2. None of the characters are better or worse than the other, only different. All of these men played a valuable role in building up the Kingdom.
  3. Be thankful for your strengths; Excel in them.
  4. Work on your weaknesses and strive to balance out your character.

Proverbs 20:5- ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS-The true man of God draws people out before jumping to conclusions.

1 Samuel 16:7- DISCIPLE THE HEART NOT BEHAVIOR-If God looks at the heart, so it should be with any true man of God.

Jeremiah 17:9- TRUST THE WORD NOT YOUR HEART-A feeling is an internal sensation or emotion. It is an involuntary response to a mental or physical stimulus. Since feelings are involuntary, they are neither right nor wrong. They just are. However, what we do about our feelings is right or wrong, good or bad. In short, feelings “ARE NOT THE TRUTH;” however, it can be very true what you feel. Submit feelings to the scriptures. Bottom line “SUBMIT FEELINGS TO FACTS.”


Temperament, or natural tendency- SANGUINE: Definition- Pleasure seeking, and Sociable.
Jesus with Peter: John 1:41-42, Mathew 16:13-23

  1. LEADERSHIP STYLE: A very persuasive individual. Influencing individual. Peter is more persuasive than authoritative. However, Peter is quite possessive.
  2. MAJOR NEED (WANT):  Popularity (Gal 2:11-12), Freedom (Math 16:23)
  3. BIGGEST FEAR: The loss of social approval. Peter likes to be liked. (Math 26:73)
  4. DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY: A. ENCOURAGE. B. Reassure them how much you love them.  (Matthew 16)
  5. Build them up for their strengths. Tell them you believe in them (Luke 5:8-11). Peters feel unworthy.
  6. Endear yourself to them. Make them endear themselves to you.  Luke 13:6-7: Peter questions the appropriateness of Jesus washing his feet. Jesus says, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND…”  Peter then later affirms a deep connection John 13:9-10, “Lord Not only my feet etc…”)
  7. Always build them up after discipling them.  Luke 5:8-11
  8. CHALLENGES WITH PETER: They need high accountability or they can get out there.
  9. Ask probing questions as they tend to be secretive. Quiet reservations can characterize them.
  10. Challenge their pride and independence often.  Challenge Peter to have DEEDS TO EVIDENCE FAITH as Peter can be all talk sometimes (John 21:16-17 “ Lord you know I love you.. Feed my sheep.”)
  11. Keep Peter involved in others’ lives (Mark 1:35-38,“Everyone is seeking you.”) Peter supports what he views as a positive development in the ministry of Jesus. He likes to gang tackle.

Tempermant, or natural tendency CHOLERIC-AMBITIOUS AND VERY MUCH SO A LEADER
Jesus with Paul: Acts 22:6-15, 2 Cor 1:8-11, 2 Cor 12:7-10

LEADERSHIP STYLE: Full of Faith, Dominant leader, Forceful, Authoritative, Strong, Opinionated- Extremely focused and Driven, VERY DIRECT, High Ego, Impatient, desires change on a very deep level, Needs to see progress, results.  Paul is very tough willed. This temperament can be the MOST POWERFUL …. and the MOST DESTRUCTIVE. Major weakness or thorn is typically “ANGER.” Major strength can be a “ RIGHTEOUS ANGER.” They are seen as the hardest working of all; however, they also are the most susceptible to burnout. They will also only select a few to be very deep and open with.

1.      MAJOR NEEDS (WANTS): A stiff challenge. They love to tackle a challenge with faith. They need some form of authority. They need to know they are significant. They can have a military mindset. Focused, efficient, driven. They need to be pushed.
2.      BIGGEST FEAR: Being taken advantage of.  Paul was constantly attacked by false teachers. He was one himself. He says, “I was the worst.”
3.      DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY: Encourage them often. Let them lead something. Give them opportunity. Solicit their input. Inspire them by keeping the standard high. Reassure them of their impact. They need your respect.
4.     CHALLENGE: Overwhelm them with responsibility so they will rely on GOD. Help them take the time to meet the emotional needs of their people. Help them get in touch with their own emotional needs often. Challenge them to love and serve out of great fullness to God. Help them not “lord it over people.”

Temperament or natural tendency (Phlegmatic) Relaxed, and quiet.
Paul with Timothy: 1 Timothy 1:1-4, 2 Timothy 1:2-12, 4:1-5

LEADERSHIP STYLE: Steady Eddie. Stabilizing influence. Very family orientated. Can be overly possessive, protective, but very loyal.

1.      MAJOR NEEDS (WANTS): Security. Acceptance.
2.      BIGGEST FEAR: The loss of security or acceptance.
3.      DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY: Value their friendship. (John the Apostle, whom Jesus loved, was probably Phlegmatic). They are the most natural friends of all. Reassure them of your friendship. Make sure you are “Connected on a heart level.”  Instil confidence in them: “You are God’s anointed.” Tell them you believe in them.

4.     CHALLENGE: Teach them to be decisive, teach them to “EMBRACE CHANGE NOT FIGHT IT.” They tend to fear change in themselves and in their surroundings (New d-partners, new ministries, etc). Teach them to be dynamic and powerful.  They tend to be lazy and complacent. Challenge their lack of results OFTEN!

Temperament or natural tendency  (Melancholy) Artistic. Moody. Happy on Monday, sad on Tuesday.
God with Moses: Exodus 3:1-21, 4:1-17

LEADERSHIP STYLE: Idealistic, very creative, innovative, deep thinker and teacher; generally a very talented individual, compliant individual. They appreciate accuracy and attention to detail. They have a deep need to be a part of a cause. On the surface they appear to be cold and guarded, but in truth, they can be tender-hearted and caring.

1.      MAJOR NEED (WANT): Appreciation, friendship.
2.      BIGGEST FEAR: Being Wrong
3.      DISCIPLESHIP STRATEGY: Encourage, ask this person for their insights and share yours often. They enjoy and need deep conversation. Take time to find out what they are into and gain an appreciation for it. Encourage them about their creation regularly. Teach them carefully and accurately. ALWAYS USE YOUR BIBLE! Be patient with their several questions and don’t mistake this for criticism (they just want to know the reason for things. They lose trust when you give them wrong or contradictory information.)
4.      CHALLENGE: Teach them that mistakes are ok as they are perfectionist. They need to hear about grace, particularly your grace on them, often. They are highly distrustful. They will avoid present commitment to avoid future pain. Challenge them to be joyful as they are consistently negative. Challenge them on their negative view of the world and others they are close to. They have to learn to be positive and not nitpicky in discipling relationships and marriage. Moses struggles with depression: Numbers 11:1-10 “He became depressed enough to want to die.” Moses is a perfectionist. In writing the first five books of the Bible, Moses shows his ability to give all the details carefully as laid out by God for the Tabernacle, the priest, for sacrifice and worship. Moses also demonstrated a problem melancholies have with delegating authority and responsibility. Exodus 18: the Jethro principle.

Who are you?
We all have a predisposition to one (although some of us have characteristics of two).
How would your friends characterize you?
Who’s discipling you? Why did God give you this type of leader?
Who are you discipling? Why did God give you this type of person to disciple?
How would you characterize them?  What type of leader does God feel you need? What kind of people does God think you need to lead?
Let’s all strive in growth to present everyone perfect in Christ!
And to God be all the Glory!
Michael Williamson

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