I think we have a discipleship problem in America. It is my thought that one of the major issues we have is that true discipleship requires a deeper relationship than what we want to commit ourselves to. I think studying Jesus’ life shows this to be true. He had deep relationships with the 12. In a social media world of surface relationships we don’t want to connect very deep. I mean who has time for that in this culture anyway? We have to make an intentional choice to commit ourselves to Christ, and others.
Jesus said follow me and I will make you fishers of men. This one statement shows us a lot about discipleship, but for now we can just quickly and simply say follow Jesus, and He will transform you. This helps us understand what we are supposed to do. Connect people to Jesus, and support them as Jesus transforms them into who He has called them to be. That will be the perspective of this post, and several upcoming discipleship posts.
How do we disciple? There could be a lot of different answers to that question. I have a desire to be able to answer that question, or at least respond with an actual blueprint on how anyone can connect to Matthew 28:19 and go make disciples because we are all called to do it. From my experience I think there are three major stages in the process, and each stage contains three major steps. So lets look at stage 1, step 1 a little bit today which is love.
This is not just love others as yourself. Jesus said in John 15:12 “This is my command, that you love others as I have loved you.” That is a challenging statement. However, from what I’ve learned it’s pretty much impossible to go beyond the surface with someone until they feel like you love, and care about them. Love people in their victories, and defeats. When they are easy to get along with, and when they are hard to get along with. When you like their personality, and when you don’t. When they agree with you, and when they disagree with you. When they tell you what you want to hear, and when they challenge you. Etc.
People may give you their ear, and listen to what you say. They may even give you their mind, and think about what you say. However, until they feel like you love them they will not give you their heart, and take in what you say. Discipleship requires people to take things in and go through a transformation process.
Remember this isn’t about turning someone into who YOU want them to be, it is helping them become who JESUS has called them to be. I would also say you don’t have to feel like you need to disciple everyone, but you should disciple those He has given you out of this world.
Next time we will discuss stage 1, step 2.
Live your life Kingdom first! Love people!