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Discipleship is one of those buzz words in the church that has kind of lost it’s meaning.  We call bible studies discipleship, we call small groups discipleship, and we call Sunday school the discipleship hour.  When you truly look at discipleship as Jesus modeled, it did not look like any of these.  Jesus was constantly teaching his disciples because they were with him  A LOT.  In our culture it is tough to do that, but could we?  Months ago the guys in our discipleship group were saying it is hard to do this because we were living in different areas of town.   I agreed halfheartedly but thought “we still should be able to do this.”  Weeks after that discussion I was visiting some friends in Texas who are training people to go to unreached people groups and one of the gals said “For us to do discipleship well we need to live in the same apartment complex.  If we are across the street it just doesn’t work.”  That really got my wheels turning.  What if we gave up the comforts of our own house and the convenience of our own space for the sake of discipleship?  Discipleship wasn’t meant to just be another program because programs are optional. Discipleship was a command meant to be obeyed.


I did love this video so much because it kind of flipped the purpose of the church around.  The people weren’t meant to serve the church but the church was meant to equip the people to be sent out weekly to disciple.  Everyone in the church has a mission field where they work and the people they influence and we have to help everyone realize that and equip them to do something about it.
Around 8 years ago I had two young men start working with me at the garden center.  They were 15 & 16.  I made it my point to train them well the first 2 years. I was out there daily and taught them about plants as we put them away, how to talk to customers, how to water, how to do displays and everything else.   They became an extension of me and the place could run without me, sometimes more smoothly.  I patted myself on the back and thought I had done a great job because they were doing what I was doing.  Not until both of their brothers started working underneath them did I realize I had failed to make them reproducers.  I thought they would just teach their brothers what I taught them, but because I didn’t have that as the expectation it didn’t get done.  I from the beginning did not have the goal of them teaching the next people.  If I would have, they would have been able to do a better job training their brothers.  This taught me a valuable lesson about discipleship that from the beginning the expectation needs to be to teach others to teach others.  As a result of this experience I have switched my approach with my teenage boys I now regularly say to them;  “The reason we are praying, reading the bible, etc. is so that you can do this with your kids someday.”  We need to make sure the blessing doesn’t stop at us or the next person but it keeps continuing on.  If we truly grasp this concept multiplication will happen rapidly.

Justin Schuiteman

Author Justin Schuiteman

I am first of all a Jesus follower who is passionate about reaching the unreached, discipleship, and helping the hurting. I have an amazing wife, who is my best friend, and 4 children 4, 7, 13, & 14. 8 years ago God got a hold of us and life has not been the same since!

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