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Sep 29, 2021

The Training Mindset of Discipleship

The Ascension Team

True discipleship is not just about believing in Christ, it’s about following Christ in a concrete way. Dave “The Coach” VanVickle and I walk you through the four phases of training every disciple of Christ needs to go through in order to consistently be a witness of Christ.

Snippet from the Show

The Cross is at the heart of the Christian life, suffering is the rule not the exception of a true disciple of Christ.


Four Phases of Discipleship Training

FIRST: The Goal

We need to have a goal that makes sense and is in alignment with gospel values. One problem in the Catholic Church is that we tend to make educated children and not educating children for lifelong discipleship. Like doing a “Couch to 5K” program, there is a specific goal in mind and you work backwards from that goal. Start with the end in mind. In this case, it is raising saints. 

SECOND: The Coach

Training your child means you as the parent are the primary witness, model, coach, teacher, and expert. Your children are not looking for a series of lectures, but a life fully lived with you. As GK Chesterton once said, “Why be one thing to the world, when you can be everything to your child?” A personal trainer looks into your history, your current state, in order to properly guide you to your goal. Having and living by Christ’s ideals balance our drives and desires with the reality of being-on-the-path. 

THIRD: The Hardships

Circumstances, relationships, etc. all come at us in life for good and evil. To be disciplined means to know that how I react to these matters more than the things themselves. A Christian, then, embraces the cross of suffering as the means by which I become more Christlike, as the athlete embraces vigorous training knowing the crown of glory awaits.  

FOURTH: Practice Makes Perfect

It’s not how many years, but how many hours you’ve worked that matters. How many hours have you practiced your Catholicism? How many hours have you prayed? Loved your neighbor as yourself? Served the poor? Welcomed the outcast?

3 KEY VIRTUES: Humility, patience, and justice 

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Meet Your Hosts


Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael “Gomer” Gormley

Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.

Michael is also the founder and creative director of, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.

He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.


David “Dave” VanVickle

Dave VanVickle

Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.

Dave is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.

Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.

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