As the American culture continues to change, transform, and even reinvent itself, the need for relationships will never change. God has designed us (You and Me) for relationship first with Him, and then for one another. Relationships can and are one of our greatest strengths as a people. How we utilize this strength is really up to us as individuals. We can use relationships to grow and become closer to God, or we can choose relationships that have little or no impact to our spiritual growth and we can even choose bad relationships that pull us away from the Lord. God has called us to change the world, and how we change the world will truly depend on relationships. I would like us to look and refocus on the Great Commission, asking how can my relationships change the world? What kind of impact does the Lord want me to have on the kingdom of God and how does He want to use me to accomplish his mission?
1 Samuel 3:1-10
What a simple form of discipleship. In its simplest form we might even call it coaching. All Eli did is see something Samuel did not, and coached him to take hold of what was happening.
Does discipleship have to be complicated? NO!
Many people are overwhelmed with the idea of discipleship. Jesus discipled 12 in just a number of years. Some of us have never felt successful at duplicating ourselves once, let alone twelve times. What we need to remind ourselves is that this is neither a race nor a competition for the results (How American of us). We should be discipling because it the joy of our heart to see people freed from the bondage of the enemy.
Can God use me to disciple / would someone be willing to disciple me? Where God guides He provides! (Acts 2:42)
When should I consider discipling? / Am I at a place in my life where Im willing to be discipled? (Mat 28:19-20)
When should I start? There will never be a good time to start and you will never feel ready, but our heart has to be yielded to the Lord. (Matt 16:24)
Do I need a book or program to disciple someone? Other than the Bible the short answer is no, but if youre unsure it could help.
Who should I disciple? / Who is going to disciple me? This is a tough question because you will need to hear from the Lord for yourself. Let me caution you, dont just start thinking, Oh my friend so and so definitely needs some discipling because they have so many problems in their life.
Guiding principles to discipleship
You need to have mutual buy in when discipling someone. What that means is you have to agree that the Lord has called you both to this discipleship relationship.
1) Establish that the relationship will be discipleship based
2) Hold the person to standards of daily devotionals/prayer as well as being transparent with troubled areas of their lives.
3) Hold them accountable to following through on what the Lord has asked of them.
4) Pray for them daily, and lay hands on them and pray for them often.
5) Discipleship is not to take the place of God.
6) Discipleship can be a long-term commitment, so dont think God will be sending you a person every other week.
What are the results of Discipleship?
1) We are sharing our faith with others causing them to grow, mature and take hold of their freedom in Christ
2) We are forced to grow when we disciple others. (Pr 27:17)
3) We increase the depth of community in the family of believers
4) Discipleship causes us to live a Holy Life. (I have someone looking up to me)
Many of us may still be overwhelmed with the idea of discipling. There have been many times when I have sat down and thought this is way too big for me, Lord. I recall a few different things that the Lord has said to me over the years.
1) Just teach what I have taught you.
2) Just work on discipling five in your lifetime. Five, with deep roots.
Ok now lets take a look at how five with deep roots can impact the world.
Five people at five generations is 3,125 disciples. Now, I want you to ask yourself can 3125 be a start to impacting the world? Maybe for you its more than 5, but whatever your number is all I would ask you to do is to seek the Lord and then obey him for his discipleship plan for your life.
1) Have you given much thought to discipleship?
2) What has the Lord said to you about discipleship?
3) What are some steps your going to take to begin the process of discipleship?