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Day 14

Discipleship Through the Eyes of Youth: Day 14

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The idea of investing a few and slow and steady discipleship really comforts me because sometimes I get overwhelmed by the amount of people that I feel need to be discipled. But today I learned that by investing in a few and making disciples that multiply the kingdom will grow with speed and it’s really encouraging.

I have fallen in love with this group of 7th grade girls that I sponsored at camp this past week and cannot wait to meet with them once a week starting this fall. My prayer is that I will be able to love them and disciple them well so that the kingdom may grow with rapid multiplication.

Also on Day 14 I was given the opportunity to share my story with all of the campers during a main session. I was really nervous at first, but I knew this was something God was really wanting me to do. I had the opportunity to put obedience into practice and share. I’m so thankful I did because through sharing my story the kids really began to open up and connect with me. It has been such a blessing to share about how God has helped me through my anxiety with my friend on Sunday and then with the campers on Monday. God connects us through our stories and a deep fellowship happens when we allow ourselves to open up and share with one another. It’s been so neat to see this up close.

Day 14 – Disciples Making Disciples

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What’s hurt the church in America more than anything?  In my opinion, it is the clergy/laity divide.  It’s the idea that you must be seminary trained to lead people to a walk with the Lord.  Interestingly, there is new data suggesting that if the church in America is to survive, we must raise up and empower church members to be disciple makers (The Great Evangelical Recession, Dickerson).  When the church scattered because of persecution, in Acts 8, the Bible says that “those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went.” (vs. 4)  Later, the same man that set-off the persecution of the church would say, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (I Cor 11:1)  Lord, may it be that every member would be willing to say and do likewise!  Let it begin in me!  And, if I’m not; then, Lord, what am I even doing?

Day 14: A Lifestyle not a Program

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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)

Discipleship When Life Is Busy: Day 14

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Day 14: Investing in a Few.  I have lead a high school girls life group for the last 5 years (they’re graduating in a few short weeks…tissues please!!).  Leading this group has been one of my favorite things that I have ever done! They are an amazing group of young women who have grown to really love and follow Christ.  It has been amazing to watch them grow and mature and ask hard questions and hold each other accountable.  This last year our youth minister challenged us to read a book with tips on leading a high school life group, 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders by Joshua Griffin with Doug Fields.  Truthfully, I only made it through the first 1/3 of the book or so (for some reason, that seems to happen with a lot of books I read…) but one of the points it made was to “Care for all, Pour into a Few, and Duplicate Yourself in One.”  That is what this challenge reminded me of.  “Pour into a Few.” And after watching the video of this challenge, I would add “Teach a Few to Do the Same.”

Since leading this group for the last 5 years, this is something that has never been a priority of mine, in fact, it just never really occurred to me.  I wanted to invest time in their lives, teaching them to be obedient to Christ, and building their faith and understanding of God, but actually challenging them to be teaching other people (students they go to school with, kids in their youth group, even their parents) never really occurred to me.  I am only on Day 14 of this challenge, but since starting it I have realized the importance of not only investing in other people but teaching them to invest in other people as well.  It’s that idea of multiplication, and that is what makes this approach unique and is a great strategy to reach so many more people than you could on your own.  The way I was doing it before, I had touched 13 girls over the last 5 years (some stayed the entire 5 years, some were only a part of the group for 1 year); but with the DMM model, each of those 13 girls could also be reaching 2-5 people (ish), who also could reach people, etc. making my total impact so much more.

 

Leadership Cells: Start a movement

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There are various kinds of small groups. In this 3-minute video, Trainer Curtis Sergeant explains how you can use “Leadership Cells” (three-thirds groups made up mostly of leaders who ‘get the process.” Try it. See if you can catch the strategy.

Jesus Was a Bad Marketer

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That’s the opinion of trainer, Curtis Sergeant, anyway. In the video below, Curtis points to the “upside down” nature of many of Jesus’ teachings. He emphasizes knowledge somewhat, but obedience a LOT. He basically asks us to give up the WORLD to follow HIM. But please watch the entire 11 minutes. We believe by the time you get to the end, you’ll be ready to follow Him too.

How Do I Start? With One.

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I remember the night when I stood out on my balcony and looked at a city of nearly six million lost souls. Throughout the city I could see red lights in different people’s homes where they had set up altars to worship their ancestors. The reality of so many people destined for a Christless eternity hit hard, and I remember wondering “how do I start?”

How do you see six million souls come to Jesus? Start with one.

Sometimes we can get so caught up with the end, with what we hope to see Jesus do in our family, our city, our country, that we forget to see the value of one. As we invest in one soul it has a ripple effect throughout eternity.

Whether slowly or fast, one becomes two. Two becomes four, and a movement begins.

It is good to have a vision of what we hope God to do. It is beneficial to think and strategize about what might be. I can’t though get so caught up with the end that I fail to see the beginning…one person.

Invest in a few individuals and allow God to bless and begin a movement.  May God move in mighty ways!