As I look back on several decades of disciplemaking the following comes to mind as key life lessons:
3 verses that have encouraged me:
- Matthew 29:19 I am commanded here to go. That might involve crossing cultures, going to “strange” places.
- Matthew 28:20 a reminder that when I make disciples, God is there with me. (Believe me, many times I have cried out to God for help as I’ve tried to encourage a growing Christian.)
- Isaiah 60:22 – a classic – seeing potential in the most unimpressive person.
3 lessons I’ve learned:
- go where people are. Describe to them what discipleship is and take the initiative in inviting them into a discipleship relationship
- invite them into our home, allow them to see more aspects of my life than just the structured discipleship relationship. Discipleship is more than pouring facts into hungry hearts. 1 Thes 2:8
- don’t expect maximum results from everyone, they’ll go as far as they want to go. Later on, they might well continue on, even when I am not present anymore in their life
3 mistakes I’ve made:
- shocked potential disciples by making discipleship appear too burdensome or complicated.
- expected some of the problems disciples face to be fixed quickly. Healing sometimes takes time.
- spoken too much and listened too little. James 1:19 gives me needed correction.