Recently, a friend called and asked me HOW TO GO ABOUT THIS BUSINESS OF DISCIPLESHIP.
Following are excerpts of my letter to him:
“Doug, it seems to me that the essence of discipleship is this:
(1) Select people to disciple who have F-A-A-T qualities: (Faithful, Available, Able [to teach others], Teachable.) (See Luke 6:12, 13; 2 Timothy 2:2). Understand that in shepherding all are included (See 1 Peter 5:2; Romans 15:1, 2). But here the discussion is discipling, and that involves selection.
(2) Spend quality time with these people:
- Developing friendship and trust (See Proverbs 17:17)
- Encouraging them in their walk (See Hebrews 3:13)
- Modeling what they need to become (See 1 Corinthians 11:1; Proverbs 23:26)
- Listening to them in order to learn who they are and what they need (See James 1:19)
(3) Help them rearrange their priorities in order to develop the discipline and desire for consistency in the quiet time, Scripture memory and Bible study. (See 1 Timothy 4:7)
(4) You can pretty well count on the fact that they have unresolved problems in at least one of the following areas which you will need to address with them:
- Financial – Greed, debt, co-signing, fear that God won’t provide for their needs
- Sexual – Pornography, sexual fantasies, unfulfilled expectations in marriage, etc.
- Relational – Unresolved anger toward God, parents, spouse, friends, etc.
(5) Keep in mind that behind everything we do must be Compassion and Intercession:
“Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. He who goes out weeping, and carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5, 6)
Oh yes… One more thing, Doug, Remember that God uses clean vessels:
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
So be sure to focus first on the quality of your walk with God. Then seek to help others!”