by Daniel Rieke
[See part 1 and part 2 in this series of posts on Discipleship for more info.]
Am I Qualified?
Perhaps the first question that stirs up in your heart as we start talking about discipling people is one of inadequacy. “Am I really qualified to make disciples?”
There could certainly be some circumstances where I’d recommend you hold off on trying to intentionally pour into others and allow yourself to simply be taught and loved on, but generally speaking most Christians are capable of walking in discipling relationships.
If you have the following characteristics, I think you’re ready to take on some discipleship (whether it be pouring into others, being poured into by others, or mutually spurring on someone in a similar level of spiritual maturity)
If you are a genuine believer in Christ, you have His Holy Spirit living in your heart, enabling you to live in such a way as to glorify God and advance His kingdom
If you are walking in repentance and surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ
If you are hungry to grow in Christ
If you trust the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word
If you are willing to pursue a fuller understanding of and obedience to the Word of God
If you love people
To take the pressure off, being involved in discipleship doesn’t mean you have to be the formal leader of anything, but could just mean that you’re actively getting poured into for a season in order to be better equipped to lead others in that way. But for many of us at Hope Church, formally taking on some discipling might be just what God has for you in this season, so my prayer is that everyone would seek the Lord hard on this and ask Him to guide us as we move towards making discipleship THE priority of our lives.
Who should I seek to make disciples of?
As we continue thinking about discipleship, another question many of us probably wrestle with is “Who should I seek to make disciples of?” Maybe you’re realizing God wants you to prioritize discipleship in your life and that He’s equipped you to pour into others, but you don’t know who to pursue…here are some questions to help you think through it:
Who is already in your sphere of influence?
Who could you reach out to?
Who is in your home group?
Who has the Lord put on your heart?
Who do you know who is younger in the faith or at a previous life stage that you could encourage and strengthen?
Who is older than you in the faith or at a future life stage who you respect spiritually and could learn from?
Who has expressed the desire to be discipled?
From talking with many of our members, there is a growing hunger for older believers to speak into their lives. The singles and the younger married couples are longing for this discipleship and they are hungry to grow. We have a huge need for older, more mature believers to step into this role. So let me challenge you to pray and ask God to show you if this is something He’s calling you to prioritize…no matter where you fall on the discipleship experience spectrum.
It’s going to take time, it’s going to take commitment, it’s going to take intentionality, it’s going to take emotional energy, and it’s going to be hard at times. BUT it’s going to make a lasting impact for the kingdom of God. It’s going to impact families, marriages and relationships in powerful ways. And ultimately it is going to bring glory to our great God!
Good books to check out on discipleship:
The Trellis & The Vine by Marshall & Payne
The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman