Where to Start
Imagine standing in heaven with the people whose lives your directly and indirectly influenced for Christ. Helping someone grow in their faith has rewards that far exceed this lifetime. The reward of discipling people for Christ was a great hope that kept Paul pushing forward even in the face of adversity.
And just like Paul often felt un-qualified, so can we. But God reminds us that our adequacy doesn't come from ourselves, it comes from Him (2 Cor. 3:5) and He gives us all we need for every good work. After all, we do have the Holy Spirit, who helped create the world and raise Christ from the dead, living inside of us. And where He calls, He equips. So has He called you? Yes! He even wrote it down for you just so you wouldn't doubt it. How awesome of Him! He didn't call you and assign you to be part of His working in peoples lives because you're so great or because you know it all. He assigned you because you don't know it all and that gives Him opportunity to show how Great He is, Able to use broken vessels. So the lie you might believe of not measuring up, of never being able to disciple someone, well, throw that out the window. Rather than trying to gather confidence in your flesh, know that all your confidence can be in the Lord, the One Able to use you.
3 Benefits of Discipling Someone
1. Discipling someone allows you to store up treasure in heaven. There are 5 crowns mentioned in Scripture that will be given to believers. One of which is the Crown of Shepherding (1 Pet. 5:4, 1 Thes. 2:9) When we come along side other believers and help them walk by faith, communicate their faith and multiply their faith, we are taking on the role of a shepherd in their life. And the great thing about being given a beautiful crown in heaven is that we will have something to lay at Jesus' feet during the ultimate worship service (Rev. 4). What a joy that will be to be able to give our King a tiny gift of love and thanks.
2. Discipling someone will be challenge you. It is way too easy to remain comfortable, which leads to stagnation. Yet when we invest our lives in other people it causes us to think of them and get outside ourselves. It also helps us cling to the Lord, since He ultimately is the only One who knows what they need.
3. Discipling someone will bless you. Sometimes when I meet with women I have absolutely no idea what to say or do which forces me to turn to the Lord and ask for His direction. Then as the Lord puts ideas and thoughts in my mind of what to share, I am so encouraged that God can actually use flawed me to influence another for His glory. In Philemon 7, Paul prays that we would be active in sharing our faith so we would know God more. The same goes with any type of ministry, as we step out and depend on God we get to see God come through and we are blessed by getting to know (experientially) Him more.
5 Things for Choosing Someone to Disciple
A disciple is a learner. And specifically someone who wants to learn about the Lord and how to live out the calling and mission He has given them. Therefore, there are certain qualities to look for in someone's character. You can also notice all of these qualities in the disciples that Jesus chose.
1. Faithful. Your time is valuable. You have plenty of things in your life the Lord has called you to, therefore you need to meet with someone who is actually going to be able to have enough discipline to be faithful to meet with you. It's frustrating and honestly a waste of your time if you set aside time to meet with someone week after week who doesn't show up. After all, he who is faithful with much will be given more, but he who is unfaithful with little, even what he has will be taken from him. (Lk 16:10)
2. Available. When you are looking for someone to pour your life into, you want them to have a heart that is available to the Lord as well as to you. If someone's schedule is so packed will activities and interests of their own and the Lord led them to do something else, they would be unable to say yes. The Lord's desire for your intentional time with another lady is that she would become a multiplying disciple herself. And if she is not available to let the Lord use her in that way it can be compared to your lineage stopping.
3. Initiative taker. When I was growing up, I probably was the most shy kid you knew. I would NEVER actually talk to someone, let alone initiate a conversation with someone because I was terrified. If someone is not able to take initiative to talk to people and start spiritual conversations, they are not going to be able to multiply their faith. It's not that they are a bad person or don't love the Lord, it just may be they have some personal areas to grow in before it would be good for you to help them walk by faith, communicate their faith and mutliply their faith. You can pray the Lord would grow them in taking initiative and till then, you can meet with someone who will take initiative to multiply their faith.
4. Teachable. The Pharisee's were the most hard-hearted, unteachable people there were in Jesus' day and therefore Jesus spoke to them very differently than He did anyone else. Notice that none of them were included in his discipleship group. Until someone is receptive to truth, it's not a wise use of your time to invest significant time in them.
5. Heart for God. Do they really have a heart for the Lord and want to live for Him? Or do they just want someone to meet with to talk about their problems? Sometimes ladies will want to meet with you for the purpose of having a weekly counseling appointment rather than to grow in their relationship with God. Unless you are a trained counselor, be careful of taking on that role for people. You can turn them back to the Word of God and help them get Christian counseling if that is what is needed.
Did you notice the handy little acronym FAITH. When your looking for someone to mentor, look for a FAITH filled lady.
Initiate with her. Ask her to coffee, ask questions; (In part three of this series I have have a printable of good questions you can ask) how she would like to grow, find out what she is passionate about, what makes her tick, what she wants to see God do in her life, her hopes, dreams etc.
Cast vision and be clear with your hopes and expectations of your time together. If you decide after getting together with her (and find out she is full of FAITH) that you want to invest in her, ask her to get together again. When you get together again, affirm what you see in her and share with her that if she would be up for it, you'd like to get together with her regularly and share some affirming reasons of why. Ask if she would like to meet (however often your thinking) for (however long you are thinking) to (what you are thinking) for (amount of time you are thinking- ex. till the summer). Also ask her what she would want from you and encourage her to ask you questions during your time together.
Part three talks specifically about what your discipleship time can look like.
Part 1- How to Find Someone to Disciple You.
Part 2- Where to Start in Discipling Someone Else
Part 3- What is Discipleship and How Do You Do it?
Laura's desire is to point to Jesus and lead people to be in awe of God. She is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Her and her husband have been in full time ministry since 2002. She serves with Master Plan Ministries as the Director of Women's Ministries and has extensive experience leading Bible studies, discipling women and speaking to groups and is the Founder of the internationally popular blog MissionalWomen.com that helps women live on mission for the glory of God. She has written seven books/Bible studies, designed 2 popular ministry tools and has made journals for quiet times for many books of the Bible. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, and Instagram.
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