Part 4 / Discovering Discipleship / 101 Series
Last week Kyle talked about How to Begin a Discipleship Relationship. And so we complete the Discovering Discipleship Series with some practical stuff. Resources and practices you can use as God guides you through this new understanding of your purpose.
In my pre-woke thoughts on discipleship I was offended by systems and programs claiming to teach discipleship. I saw them as unfeeling and cop-outs for the real work of actual day-to-day, relationship-based discipling. I fear any church initiative still has the possibility to fall into this legalistic trap, BUT I no longer think that those are good excuses to go about discipleship training with a blindfold on.
I hit this common fault hard in "3 Things that Discipleship IS Not". So as long as you do not try and use these resources like the Pharisees hid behind the Mosaic Law, then may I recommend the best studies and practices for your first discipleship relationship:
1. Read through a gospel and point out who and what Jesus spent His time on. Discover alongside your follower the incredible investment Jesus made into his 12 disciples.
2. Use The Disciple's Path from Lifeway. There are tons of good books, workbooks and DVD's out there. I like The Disciple's Path because it is simple and helps prevent your mentoring from becoming just a Bible study.
3. Prioritize the relationship above your weekly meeting time. If you don't get your "spiritual" conversations in, but you hear about their week, their pain, or their hopes then consider that good discipleship. If you have to miss your weekly meeting time but you have them over for dinner, consider that a good discipleship move. Remember that Jesus modeled all the things he wanted his followers to replicate. So prioritize setting a good example over knowledge transfer.
4. Discipleship.org and MultiplyMovement.com have amazing free books and videos.
5. Make an attempt. If you have kids, you know that no class or book prepares you for raising kids and neither will they prepare someone to fully follow Jesus. Probably one of the best things you can do is just decide this is the highest calling in your life and find some place to start. Do you have a friend who is searching? Or maybe a coworker who likes you enough to have lunch with you regularly? Are there Jr. Highers at your church who you could invest in? Look for someone who is already in your path.
Jesus could have come to earth and torn down the temple and started a mega church. He could have been the best known speaker and author of his day. He could have started an organization and groomed people to take over when He was done. But for some reason in his infinite wisdom He came down and chose 12 guys to show them God's Kingdom. And when He left he commanded them to "go and make disciples. (Matt. 28:19)"
A disciple will naturally make more disciples and in this way "the gates of Hell will not be able to stand up against" us.