Discipleship: Does This Come with Instructions?
“It’s a children’s swing-set, how difficult can it be to assemble?” Two hours later I regretted uttering those words to my wife and was looking for the instructions. Swing-sets I discovered, although similar, come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
So, what about Discipleship? Are there a set of instructions to follow? Does a commitment to discipleship come with a manual? Where do you go to get answers to your basic questions like?
- When to meet & for how long?
- Where to meet & in what setting?
- What to discuss & curriculum to use?
Actually, the answers to these questions will vary based on each individual. Keep in mind Discipleship is Not One Size Fits All. You may determine to meet for a designated time and even go through a specific Bible study but remember this is bigger than a curriculum. Discipleship means doing life together not just appointments. Discipleship is about life on life.
The question still remains, “Are there instructions for me to follow for the discipleship process?” Practically, the answer is “Yes” but not in the way we often think. This will not be like following the directions included with swing-sets. It is more like a guideline than a set of hard and fast rules. There are biblical mandates and personal considerations.
On a personal level, you define the relationship based on the individual. I suggest the following four-part outline as a guide for determining the personal considerations of the discipleship relationship.
- Evaluate – Determine where each individual is spirituality, meet them there and move them forward. 1 John 2:12-14
- Generate – Every discipleship plan must be firmly anchored with “biblical principles” however, the “success markers” should be defined by the individual’s personal need and capacity for growth. 2 Peter 3:18
- Motivate – Make sure your discipleship plan contains opportunities for encouragement through accountability. Proverbs 27:17
- Elevate – The ultimate goal of discipleship is to assist the disciplee in the process of becoming more like Christ. Ephesians 4:13 -15
Other than seeing someone come to faith in Christ, the discipleship process is one of the most rewarding aspects of the Christian walk. Being a part of “Reproducing Reproducers” is invigorating, knowing you are investing in countless lives through the multiplication process.
Who made this difference in your life?