Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Facets of Discipleship

How many of us know scriptures? It's a lot. Yet, we find that many Christians feel lost or ineffective in their walk with their Lord and Savior.

Discipleship is the mechanism for guiding new and self proclaimed, ineffective Christians, to a clear and productive walk. So, if you're going "all in" to seek the Lord, you'll find that in a discipleship relationship, you won't just walk. You'll run!

Teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

Discipleship is more than just taking a class or hanging out with a knowledgeable brother or sister in the Lord. Discipleship takes the form of an intimate relationship between two brothers or two sisters in the Lord.

In a discipleship relationship you will experience a close relationship with someone who will help you understand who God is and His plan for this universe. They will guide you in understanding who we are in Christ, how to walk with the Lord and inform our ministry.

In this discipleship relationship, the "discipler," uses several skills, their experience and the wisdom that the Lord has developed within them. These all get expressed through mentoring, teaching and coaching.

Mentoring

A mentor is a wise and trusted advisor. In business, it is the practice of assigning a junior member of staff to the care of a more experienced person as a tutor and a coach. We see in the scriptures where Jesus and Paul express their mentoring role.

And Jesus said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men." - Mark 1:17 NASB
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. - Philippians 3:17 NLT

Teaching

Good, insightful teaching of the scriptures can sometimes be hard to come by. A disciplers work is not to give good advice, either as a dad, a husband, a friend, or a close coworker. A discipler is focused on introducing the disciple to their God and Savior.

The disciple and the Lord will work through the problem solving, overcoming and purpose in the disciples life. The discipler merely teaches the disciple to walk in that relationship. Once the disciple is rich in their walk with the Lord the discipler has one last role... get out of the way and go find another disciple! :-)

A discipler will strategically teach, correct, restore, answer questions, and guide in accordance to the scriptures.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

Coaching


A coach is an expert listener who uses direct communication and asks questions. Not just any questions. A coach asks the questions that a disciple can't or won't ask about their walk with the Lord. The "can't," might be a type of question that the disciple doesn't know to ask. The "won't" is the type of question that a disciple is afraid to ask.

There are many good examples of coaching in the scriptures and as you can imagine, Jesus was highly effective in this skill.

Then he asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" - Mark 4:40 NLT - Powerful Questioning for Self Awareness
... he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" ... Then he asked them, "But who do you say I am?" - Mark 8:27, 29 NLT - Powerful Questioning for Distinction and Clarity
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? - Mark 8:36 NLT  - Powerful Questioning for Perspective
Jesus answered them with a question: "What did Moses say in the law about divorce?" - Mark 10:3 NLT  - Powerful Questioning to Drawout Information
But Jesus responded, "He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts." - Mark 10:5 NLT  - Direct Communication to Add Insight

Coaching guides in understanding, that leads to meaningful and consistent action. It's nurtures deep thinking to reinforce the mindset of a disciple for sustained fortitude in their walk.

A Match Made in Heaven

A good discipler will find you but you want to be looking for them. When the call comes, answer! That is your part. The disciple and the teacher have a responsibility to answer this relational call.

Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. - Matthew 19:21-22 NLT - A disciple called but was not seeking. See Count the Cost.
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. - Matthew 7:14 NLT
Work hard to enter the narrow door to God's Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail. - Luke 13:24 NLT

A good discipler will have a good grasp of the scriptures. If you are getting answers to questions that confuse you more than before you asked the question, find someone else.

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. - 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT

As a disciple seeking a discipler, you want to look for a couple things. Pray for a person who knows the Lord, that can teach, and certainly, someone you can trust. A discipler can always be found but you may have to do your due diligence to find them.

Once you find that person who can disciple you, don't let them get away! Pursue that person. If they are too busy, find a way to help them ease their load so you might have the chance to learn from them.

It's a big deal and if you can get your mind wrapped around the idea of discipleship and the impact on your relationship with the Lord, persistence will not be a problem. :-)

We see throughout the scriptures where disciples pursued their mentor and worked hard to nurture and maintain that relationship.

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, "First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!" Elijah replied, "Go on back, but think about what I have done to you." - 1 Kings 19:19-20 NLT
Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" And they left their nets at once and followed him. ... They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. - Matthew 4:19-20, 22 NLT
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Take Action!

How do I find someone to disciple me? 
Prayer is you first step. Get this on your prayer list and add scriptures to support your pursuit. You can start with the ones in this article! Yet, there are many more.
The Holy Spirit is the true teacher. As you pursue your relationship with the Lord, He will open the discipleship door for you. If you need help, In The Cool Zone is designed to support discipleship, so you are in a good place.  
Shoot us a note and we'll work with you in your next steps.  
Here are additional resources to help develop your strategy: 

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. - 2 Timothy 2:2 NLT

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept

“Find a discipleship relationship.”


In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks. Deliver the Gospel. Teach what you have learned.

In The Cool Zone and More Life in My Day are sister websites dedicated to discipleship. They work in tandem, providing the teaching and coaching for growing in the Lord and becoming effective in our walk with the Lord. 

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