A big challenge in discipling others is knowing what to discuss and how to discuss it. I may wonder if I’m working with a “clean slate” or if I am building on the foundation others have established before me. And then how do I decide what topics are important to address with a young believer?
Romans 15:14 is a great model for both. Paul has just written 14 chapters on deep theological issues that people needed to hear, but then he tells them, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.”
I don’t believe this inspired verse is hyperbole or “brown nosing.” Paul recognized these believers, whom he had yet to visit in Rome, were off to a good start. Though he had a lot to say to them, in writing and in person, he praised them for the depth of their experience up to that point. The young disciples we meet with will appreciate the way we celebrate what they’ve already learned on their journey with Christ.
This verse also gives a great outline for the content of our meetings: character, convictions, and competencies. Focusing on issues of “heart, head, and hands” will go a long way in passing on our passion to know Christ and make Him known!