Share and support/Discipleship

In my last post about discipleship I shared stage 1 step 1 of the process which was to love others as Jesus loves us. Today I will share what I believe is stage 1 step 2 of the process. However, I first want to mention that I struggle anytime I write out something like this. It is a process, it does seem to happen in steps and stages, but I also want to emphasize that you can not do this mechanically. It has to be organic, it has to be deeply relational. I believe you have to try to form the same deep relationships with those the Lord brought to you as He did with the 12. Instructing, advising, and mentoring are all different from discipling.

So as we get into the share and support step we also have to realize that every step blends with the others, and they are all continuous. It is because of your love for someone who Christ has brought to you that you begin to support them. All throughout the book of acts we see the disciples sharing what they have to support others. Something that seems to be lost in the shuffle in a great way in America, and other consumeristic cultures. Here are a couple of the many examples of the outward acts of sharing and supporting- Acts 4:32-35 “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.” Luke 3:11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

Here a few of the many examples of the not so easily seen acts of sharing and supporting- Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” 1 Corinthians 12:26  “If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share its suffering. If one part is praised, all the others share in its happiness.” Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

So what does all this mean to discipling someone? In discipling we are really just connecting people to Jesus, and helping them become who Jesus has called them to be. So it is really about us living life with them as they connect their life to Jesus. You share your real unfiltered life and testimonies with them, and support them in their pursuit of Christ in any way you can. You share in their victories, and you support them through their defeats. You help carry their burdens, and support them in their challenges, and struggles that cause their growth. You share your possessions with them. You give them the tools you wish you had in overcoming some of your own struggles. You give them tools you fought to get, so they don’t have to fight the same fights. You don’t fix their mistakes for them, you support and share with them as they work it out.

In short you share with them anything you have in your life both internally, and externally that will support them in living their life for Jesus, and stepping into their calling and purpose. Have their back, and build them up. Most will want to place disclaimers on parts of their lives that they will not share; however, I would serve a reminder that no one claimed any of their possessions as their own, and point to the truth that we own nothing.

I will mention again that you are not sharing the deepest parts of your life with everyone, but with those He has brought to you out of this world.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi

 

Discipleship

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!

Levi