Want To Make Disciples? It Might Look Like This
- Get Vision For Discipleship
- Initiate A Discipleship Relationship
- Take Steps of Growth With the Person
- Help Them Make Disciples
VISION FOR DISCIPLESHIP
Matthew 28:18-20 says “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Discipleship is for everyday people not just for people with seminary degrees or jobs at churches. Normal, every day people can and should make disciples! A discipleship relationship is a relationship that points another person to Jesus. No matter your background or where you’re at in life Jesus wants you to know Him more deeply and help others know Him more deeply.
Discipleship changes the world. As ones, twos and threes gather together to read the Bible and hold one another accountable to obey the world is changed! Families are restored, workplaces aretransformed, and cities are filled with joy!
Discipleship begins when you initiate with another person to spend purposeful time together to grow in your relationship with Jesus. It involves consistently spending time together to read the Bible, pray, encourage one another and live life togther. Sometimes this is a consistent meeting, other times it happens in the flow of life. Regardless, the process must be intentional and focused on Jesus!
Define the Relationship
Don’t be weird or overly intense. The goal is simple: “what if we met up consistently to grow in our relationships with Jesus? I don’t have it all together but I’d love to point you towards Jesus!” It’s really important to be up front about your intentions. Have a conversation about what you’re hoping to get out of your time together and invite them to share what they’re hoping to experience through discipleship. Getting on the same page is very valuable.
Having start and stop dates to your time together is not required but can be really helpful. As you’re inviting the person to meet together for discipleship, consider a time frame that would make sense so they know what you are asking. Without a scope of time the person may feel intimidated by signing up for an unending group. Explaining the scope also allows you to opt out at the end if the time was not very productive for you or the other person.
STEPS TO TAKE
Share Personal Stories
A discipleship relationship that lacks vulnerability won’t result in much fruit. It can be so helpful when just starting out to openly share your story with the person you are meeting with and invite them to share there’s. This will give you context for each others’ lives and allow you to go deeper more quickly. Throughout your times together you can cultivate vulnerability by openly sharing first. When a heavy topic comes up as you’re reading the Bible together be open to share about the hard things that you’re experiencing or have experienced in life. Your vulnerability will help them to do the same.
Begin With Foundational Resources
Everyone comes into a discipleship relationship from a different place. Starting with foundational content ensures that everyone is on the same page about who God is, who they are and some of the basic doctrines of Christianity. Our Foundational Resources are great guides to help you talk through these things with the person you’re disicpling. Visit our app to use the Foundational Resources.
Use Additional Resources
As you’ve studied the Bible and obeyed together using the Foundational Resources. These Biblical topics will allow both of you to continue to grow in spiritual disciplines like Forgiveness, Holiness, and Spiritual Gifts. Feel free to read a book of the Bible or Christian book together. Ask God what the person you’re meeting with might need in this season and how you can support them as they grow in their relationship with God.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
Discipleship is a Relationship Not a Meeting
Jesus spent a lot of time with His disciples. He didn’t merely have a scheduled meeting once every two weeks where they caught up for 60 minutes then left. No! Jesus lived life with His disciples! You to should develop arelationship with the person you’re discipling. By all means get a coffee together and meet up consistently, but discipleship isn’t entirely just a 1 hour coffee meeting. Have fun! Build shared common experiences together. The relationship will be much deeper and far more fruitful.
Make Followers of Jesus, Not Yourself
Point people to Jesus, not your personal experience or wisdom. Even if you’ve been walking with God for a long time and have a lot of wonderful things to share with the person point them to Jesus. When a person becomes dependent on Jesus they can go anywhere and continue pursuing God. When they’re dependent on you, if you move, life stages change, or the relationship ends, the person may not know where to go. Point people to Jesus using the Bible and challenge them to listen to God for themselves.
Discipleship Should Reproduce
Jesus’ plan was never to have 12 disciples and just end there. His plan from the beginning was to invest deeply in a few so they would go do the same and so forth. As you’re investing in this person, remember to help them go do the same. Being a disciple is making disciples. Encourage the person you’re meeting with to obey what they are reading in the Bible and to help others do the same.