Do a google search for "discipleship" "discipleship training" "new believer discipleship material" "discipleship lessons for new believers" "practical discipleship" "discipling" "helping others follow Jesus" and you will be inundated with enough reading to keep you occupied until Jesus comes back. And here I am adding another post to add to the mix! Geesh.
For those of us who actually want to help others follow Jesus BEFORE Jesus comes back there is something we can do NOW. No more study. No more curriculm purchasing. No more coming up with the perfect disciple-making strategies.
Ask yourself these two questions. If you can answer them, you will have the opportunity for helping another follow Jesus clearly defined and right in front of you.
If you can't answer these two questions, then seek another person who can help YOU discover the answers. Together with that person ask God to help you discover the answer.
Before I share these two simple questions I do have two underlying principles that are important to keep in mind.
Do something before you do everything.Defining the disciple-making process comprehensively will keep you from following Jesus and helping others follow Jesus actually. Isn't this the point? When Jesus says "Follow Me" He isn't inviting us to study His life and systemetize it before we go. The original disciples started following Jesus BEFORE they had all of Jesus' teaching. He's inviting us to give Him space to guide us and direct us AS WE GO. Discipleship is not a static ideology. It's a way of life.
Question #1 Comes Before Question #2.You can't help another follow Jesus if you can't share how YOU are following Him.
Your answers to questions #1 and #2 can change over time .
HOW are you following Jesus?Start with one of 5 areas of engagement with Jesus. How are you engaged currently in the Word? In Prayer? What's your life in Jesus Story? How do you engage in Supporting Friendships?
Word... Prayer... Story... Serve... Supporting Friendships
WHO are you helping follow Jesus?
Pay attention to who are in your relationship circles. At work, in the neighborhood, at church, in your family, where you work out, who are you connected to? And within those circles who is God raising up who you could help and who might help you? Ask them. Listen to them. Where within the 5 areas in question #1 do they and you share a desire to learn more.
Simple is better. Simple is reproducible. Simple is sticky.
For those of you who read this post all the way to the end, here's a little bonus. It might help you share these questions with someone else. Maybe you could even use it as an invititation of sorts to someone. Just click on the button below.
Here's to YOUR effective disciple-making!