Hi! For many years, my sweet husband and I have been involved in discipleship, through small group meetings and Bible studies, as well as through one-on-one meetings with people looking to grow and be challenged in their faith. We’ve also been on the receiving end of discipleship and have been enormously blessed to have been mentored by some wonderfully wise and mature men and women. Few things in our lives have been more fulfilling than the opportunity to be both discipled and to disciple others, and our passion to help disciples connect with disciplers has only grown stronger over the years.
About ten years ago, we were asked to put together some resources for people to use when discipling others and our church “Discipleship Library” began to grow. It’s filled with classics, like Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald, The Helper by Catherine Marshall, and Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. It also contains Dave Ramsey’s DVD series about finances and several 8-week Bible studies on various topics. We wanted to include materials on a large number of topics, but in a variety formats to appeal to diverse group of people.
But not all discipleship takes place
by reading a book or even studying the Bible.
But not all discipleship takes place by reading a book or even studying the Bible. I often meet with young women in their twenties and thirties, and frequently, they want to meet because of an event in their life or an important life question they have. So when we meet, we talk, quite often about relationships, like parents, siblings, friends, and yes, guys, too. And of course biblical principles form the foundation of every conversation we have. Which isn’t to say that we don’t ever use books; right now I’m reading Boundaries (one of my absolute favorites) with a young woman I meet with twice a month. I think I’m getting more out of it than she is, lol!
“We loved you so much that we delighted to share with you
not only the GOSPEL of God but our LIVES as well
because you had become so dear to us,” (1 Thess. 2:8).
Discipleship can take other forms as well, phone calls for example, if that works out better for both parties. Or how about serving together, as with two friends of mine, one of whom is a pastor, the other a young man who hopes to become one someday. One day a week, they spend time together doing “pastor” things. In essence, he is saying, “Follow my example as I follow Christ,” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
It’s not just for new Christians
or immature Christians; it’s for all of us.
Some discipleship relationships last a few months, others several years or more. But one aspect of discipleship that never changes is that we all need it! It’s not just for new Christians or immature Christians; it’s for all of us. We should seek to grow in maturity throughout our Christian walk; we never “arrive,” we are never “done” with the sanctification (maturing) process. I think there’s a lot of safety in having a mentor in one’s life to bounce things off of and to gain new insight from, especially when we are actively engaged in discipling someone else.
It can be quite informal and en,joyable
while at the same time being life-giving
and transformative, if we allow it.
I believe we are at our healthiest when we have people in our lives who pour into us their wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of life, while we do the same for someone else who’s looking to us for the same kind of input. And as I’ve already mentioned, it doesn’t have to take the form of a book study or watching a [boring] DVD series. In fact, it can be quite informal and enjoyable, while at the same time being life giving and transformative, if we allow it.
Ultimately, it’s all about relationship and sharing life together, whether you’re meeting over coffee at the kitchen table, power walking while chatting about your day, or serving together at a city mission. So if you currently have no mentor or would like to be a mentor yourself, what are some steps you could take to make it happen?
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Bye for now,