I had only been officially on full-time staff for about month, when this gal I was working with stared me right in the face and said, “ I don’t want to meet up with you anymore because you’re too happy and I don’t like the look of compassion you give me.” Talk about a blow to my confidence!
Since then, it seems like I tend to get “discipleship dumped” on a yearly basis. My schedule is packed at the beginning of the year, and by the end of the year I am meeting with somewhere between 1/3 to 2/3 of the girls I started with. Not too long ago a gal asked to meet with me to do discipleship and even gave me a book she wanted to go through. The next week she said she probably wouldn’t be able to meet with me.
I kept asking God, “Lord, what am I doing wrong? Am I too pushy? Am I asking for too much too much commitment too early? Am I not challenging them enough? Am I challenging them too much? Am I really too happy for people?”
Then God brings up the same verse that my campus directors brought up with me. 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 says (emphasis mine), “So, what is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you have believed, and each has the role the Lord has given. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
I am not in charge of the growth of those ladies who I work with, nor am I in charge of the growth of those who don’t want to meet with me. Discipleship isn’t about my performance. I can do all I can to do my best for Jesus, but at the end of the day it’s not about me. They are not MY disciples! They are disciples of Christ!!
Nor is discipleship about the other person – it’s not about what they do or don’t “get out of it”. Discipleship is about Jesus and dependent on the growth produced by God Himself. Discipleship is a process where two disciples of Jesus Christ come together to learn more about Jesus and how they can best be disciples of Jesus they can be. One person in this relationship may be one the more mature one to give more advice, challenges, etc. But both are learning what it looks like to be more like Christ.
Lord Jesus, Thank you that discipleship is about you and not about me! Thank you for freeing me from the burdens I put on myself to perform as a leader and as a “discipler”. Thank you that the ladies you bring into my life, for however long or short I am privileged to work with them, that they are YOUR disciples following You and Your example. Thank you for causing the growth in each of them, and thank you for causing the growth in my life as well as I learn more and more what it looks like to be your disciple. Continue to disciple us all on what it looks like disciple others.
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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