Discipleship: Learning the ‘HOW’

After you have chosen a young person to disciple it’s important to establish clear aims for this...

After you have chosen a young person to disciple it’s important to establish clear aims for this new discipling relationship.

We need to remember that there is not a one size fits all shoe when it comes to discipleship. Say we have someone who is very analytical and then someone who is very relational, and you are discipling each of them. You will soon realise that things that work for one will not work for the other.

We need to be thinking in terms of what people understand and how people live.

Help People To Understand More About Jesus

One of the aims of our discipleship relationships should always be helping those we are discipling to grow in their knowledge of God.

We need to help them grow and strengthen their faith muscle.

Paul tells young Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16 to keep close watch on how he lives and on what he is teaching. Paul urges Timothy to stay true to what is right for the sake of his (Timothy’s) salvation and for the salvation of those that Timothy was teaching.

Working Through The Basics

Through this discipleship relationship you should be helping the person that you are discipling to

  • know why Christians pray
  • why we share the Gospel
  • why church is so important
  • why we are called to live a certain way

True discipleship is not merely an accountability relationship. Yes, there is an element of accountability, it is so much more than that. Jesus tells us to make disciples by teaching people to obey (Matthew 28:18-20).

We need to be teaching those we disciple the basics of the Christian faith.

The Centrality Of The Bible

God’s word or Scripture should be central to any discipling relationship. We so often use the latest and greatest material, however, how often do we think of using God’s Word.

Our lives should attract people to listen to us, our teaching should then work for their transformation. Their transformed lives should then illustrate what they have been taught which in turn attracts people to listen to them.

Our discipleship should be self-replicating.

Help People To Live Better

Another aim we need to have in our discipleship relationships is not only to help people have a better understanding of their relationship with God but we also want them to live towards a Christlikeness.

Imitate Christ Jesus

Paul often challenged his listeners to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Jesus himself initiated this model of discipleship as he was clear that he can only do what he sees his Heavenly Father doing (John 5:19-20). Paul shares with us in Galatians 4:9 that knowing God changes how we live.

We live as outsiders in an antagonistic world, always faced with the pressure to conform. Scripture calls us to resist that pressure. Philippians 2:15 exclaims,

“so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”

As believers we are meant to shine and be lighthouses in this world.  It is for this reason that young Christians need better examples of godliness.

Doing Life Together

So how do you impact how others live? By spending time with them. Inviting someone over to your house while you bake, inviting someone over for dinner with your family. So much of discipling is simply doing what you do normally do but being intentional about bringing some one along with you and doing life with them and having meaningful time with them.   

The Simplicity Of Discipleship

Really the “how “of discipleship is not that complicated. It’s about doing life together with other people as you all journey toward Christ. We make friends and then we walk them in a Christward direction. We want to understand God and his ways and live as the Bible calls us to. We want to be accurate in our understanding and holy living. We want to know the truth and to live well, and all of this is for the glory of the one true God in whose image we’re made.

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Author: Jordan Theron
Jordan, a.k.a. Jordz, is a youth pastor in Gqebrha (Port Elizabeth) in South Africa. His interests include coffee, and rock and shore fishing. He and Helen (his amazing wife) are passionate about discipling young people to be disciples who make disciples.
Published: 5 September 2022
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