Personalizing Your Personal Development [TRAC]

When I purchased athletic shoes in the past, I typically looked for two qualities: a cool-looking shoe that would make me look the runner I am not, and most of all the cheap price is low. Function was often a very low priority.

This time, however, I decided to concede to the advice of my new peers and make a trip to our local running shoe store in pursuit of a better quality shoe—one that was more fitted to my new needs of getting back in shape through regular walking. As I browsed around the store, a helpful sales associate soon approached me and began asking me an array of questions.

Each question was focused on helping to determine which pair of shoes would be right for me. I had no idea that so many factors affected what type of shoes you should walk or run in.

“How many times per week do you plan to walk?” “What are your overall fitness goals?” “Do you plan to train for races?”

The questions continued.

“Do you have any problems with your back, hips, knees or feet?” “On what surfaces will you be doing most of your walking?” “Do your feet sweat?”

At one point, the associate had me walk across the store along a painted path so they could watch and assess my gait patterns. After many minutes of dialogue and observation, my new “shoe expert” selected two different shoes for me to try on. She also recommend- ed a certain insole that could further customize the fit of the shoe I would select.

When the moment finally came to try the shoes on, I was relieved, and then when I stood with the shoes she had selected…  was amazed!

I had never had a shoe fit so well, be so comfortable and offer so much arch support!

I walked up and down the store path- way with a giddy smile on my face. It was if I had entered a brave, new world. I had found the perfect shoe—one personally tailored to my needs, and one that could handle the new challenges before me. I was sold! And, as a bonus, these new shoes just happened to be very good looking.

Not only had I never had a shopping experience like this before, but I had also never been sold a product that was designed to meet my unique needs. These new shoes fit as if they were uniquely made to support my feet and were tailored for the specific type of exercise that I would undertake.

While this shoe-shopping experience proved good for my feet and exercise goals, it has also provided me with a “snapshot” of what I believe needs to occur in the arena of personal growth and development of Christ-followers.

Finding shoes that meet my unique needs served to illustrate both the challenge and need we have as we consider the discipleship and development of believers and leaders. The truth is that as we seek to equip ourselves and others for the spiritual journey with Christ…

Each Christ-follower needs a foundational introduction to the essentials of the faith as they begin the Christian journey. Prayer, study of the Word and connection to a spiritual community serve to launch and sustain a life in Christ.

But each of our life stories are a unique part of God’s greater story. We each have a race-to-run that involves a a set of challenges that we must encounter. Because every Christ-follower’s development is unique, the way we are mentored, coached and equipped should be just as unique as the pair I shoes I slip my feet into.

We can do better than a 8-week approach to discipleship geared to the latest book or purchased “off-the-rack.” The Church’s current wholesale approach to discipleship must give way to an unique approach that is tailored to each believer’s unique needs.


TRAC is a personal development assessement focused on giving you a “snapshot” of your current development/discipleship as a Christ-follower, and helping to better run the race that is set before you. TRAC is for those  who are passionate to stay the course and finish well.

TRAC is comprised of assessing your current behavior and needs based upon four crucial need areas, each representing a major segment of the research and insights related to the personal development of a Christ-follower.

  • Trajectory
  • Replenishment
  • Awareness
  • Choices

The four areas of personal development form the acrostic of T-R-A-C.

These four areas act as guardrails that keep our lives on track and serve to nourish sustainability. Situ- ational clarity comes as the life of a Christ-follower is periodically assessed. Together, these four areas provide an “as-you-go” snapshot of an individual’s current development—revealing strengths and areas where work is needed.

Checkout TRAC: >> The TRAC360 Assessment

Checkout TRAC: >> The Book


Terry coaches and mentors breakthrough for entrepreneurial, risk-taking leaders. He has authored several books on leadership and pioneered a variety of leadership development resources and processes with his organization, Leader Breakthru. Terry also serves as adjunct faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary.

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