Discipleship as explained in the video today isn’t a program but a lifestyle. This is why making disciples can be so difficult. People are willing to commit to a program because they know the beginning and the end and the cost is very minimal. True Discipleship is different. You need to change your life and hour habits and those changes can be painful. Those changes can cause some hurt feelings. That change changes everything.
We have such an abundance of choices and freedom in America these days. We can watch whatever we want, eat whatever we want, do whatever we want, whenever we want. The single greatest skill in this day and age that is going to help you is Self Control.
I have tried to reorient my life around discipleship. I have changed a lot. I don’t watch TV, I have said no to being on boards of organizations, I have stepped down from other church positions, I have not done things I “should” do such as coaching or volunteering for other things. I have said no to some opportunities for trips or other vacations because it did not further discipleship. My friendships have changed in the process and it has been hard. I care about what people think of me, more than I let on. Last year I made the commitment to discipleship and I did great focusing on that for 4 months and then I got sidetracked by something new and shiny. You see the problem with discipleship is that it is not sexy, shiny, or quick. It is a lot of work! That is why most people don’t want to do it. But as I have poured into those who are FAT (Faithful-Available-Teachable) the results have been amazing. A friend challenged me once that our job is to scatter the seeds and provide opportunities to grow. When you see a seed that is growing and wanting to grow you go help that seed grow. He challenged me to scatter widely and don’t just ask the people you think are “qualified.” Give more people a chance. Some might surprise you. This has been super-freeing for me. I used to sit around a couple of seeds and just wait for them to grow and get so frustrated when they wouldn’t grow. Now I spread seeds liberally and when they grow and want to grow I do everything I can to help them.
The meaning and context of discipleship has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years as well for me. I used to think it was one on one but a few years back a friend gave me the book “Spiritual Multiplication in the Real World.” by Bob McNabb. Through that book and through my experiences in discipleship it has become clear to me that discipleship done in community is the most effective way. You see I was discipleing a young man for a few years individually and I invited him along with others to be a part of our group. I loved it! He loved it as well! He was getting a more full picture of Christ and able to learn from all of the different guys in our group based on their gifts than just me alone. We call it “Teamwork Discipleship!”
To end I love the verse shared. In the verse there is 4 generations of discipleship going on. That is awesome! I want to be a part of that! Have you seen 4 generations of intentional discipleship anywhere around you? Who do you know who is great at making disciples?
Other great books on Discipleship I have read:
“Master Plan for Evangelism” by Robert E Coleman
“The Making of a Disciple” by Dr. Keith Phillips
“Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less.” by Greg McKeown (helped me to focus on discipleship)