DISCIPLESHIP

DISCIPLESHIP

JESUS LAST INSTRUCTION (MT 28:18-) IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY

Discipleship (mentoring) happens in the context of a family called Church. This family is our Community. Family is the place we are nurtured, cared for and loved. However, the primary goal of family is to produce fully functioning adults who can start and sustain their own families. This is also the primary goal of the church family.

Most of us have several ‘communities’ we belong to: sports, hobbies, family gatherings, recreational and many other kinds of communities.

But when we speak of biblical communities we are speaking of our church family. This community may include some of the above activities, but is primarily about advancing spiritual growth (Act 2:37-47) and the goal of fully functioning believers who are making disciples

EXERCISE:

  • Ask each person in your group to write down the names of eight people in their circle of relationships they spend most of their time with.
  • Underline the names of new believers and non-believers who are receptive to hear the gospel (I.e., “Man of peace” Mt10:11-12).
  • If none of these names written down are receptive yet, then we should pray and ask God to soften their hearts to respond to the gospel and subsequent mentoring.

ILLUSTRATION: DNA

Explain the metaphor of DNA[1] and how this applies to us making disciples… who will also make disciples… who will make disciples…

Let’s take a look at DNA PRINCIPLES that need to be reproduced in the new cells (mentoring/ discipleship relationships):

  1. Worship
  2. Prayer
  3. Ministry
  4. Priesthood of all believers.
  5. Scripture  
  6. Accountability (Follow through)
  7. Reproduction

NOTE: An important distinction: ‘PRINCIPLE’ and ‘FORMULA’

  • Principles (like 1-7 above) are timeless and absolute.
  • But the way-we-get-to-them are what we call the strategies, formulas or methods. And these are flexible, changeable, and applied differently in different settings.

Now that I’ve made this distinction clear, let me propose a helpful ‘formula’ to achieve the desires ‘principle’.

This formula makes use of questions[2] to facilitate personal insight for the mentee (Which in my opinion is far better than just been taught a list of principles.)

My request is that we practice this approach before we move onto being creative with other ‘methods and formulas’. (In the same way when we learned to drive a car, we stuck rigidly to the instructors method until we learned our own style that is now sub-conscience.)

The main point: we want a simple, biblical approach to mentoring, which we can put in the hands of every believer, that can be replicated.

PRINCIPLE’ AND CORRESPONDING ‘METHOD (Question)’

  1. Worship  (John 4:23; Psalm 95:5)
  1. An attitude of gratitude is foundational to all expressions of praise and worship)
  • “What are you thankful for this week?” 
  • Prayer (1 Peter 5:7; Phil 4:6)
  1. Trust in God as our ultimate source
  • “What has stressed you out this week?
  • Ministry (Luke 9:12-13)
  1. Are there needs He shows me to address
  • “What are the needs of the people in your community?”
  • Priesthood of all believers (Eph 4:11-13; 1 Peter 2:9)
  1. We are all called to ministry. We all have the same access to God and authority to minister. The only difference is that some believers are a few steps ahead in maturity and knowledge and mentor younger believers to catch up.
  • “How can we help each other with the needs we expressed?”
  • Scripture (Col3:16)
  1. We need to avoid the temptation to sermonize. Let the mentee discover the truths in the Bible for themselves.

I.e., Let’s read this passage.

1 Jn 3:19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

  • Ask them (or someone in the group) “Retell the passage in your own words, as though you were telling a friend who isn’t here”.
  • Ask the Group: “Do you agree with that retelling? Is there something he added or left out that he shouldn’t have added?”
  • As long as the group doesn’t miss a key component of the passage, continue. If they miss something, read the passage again. If someone states something that isn’t in the passage, ask, “Where did you find that in this passage?” Reread the passage, if necessary.
  • Ask:
  1. “What does this passage teach us about God?”
  • “What does this passage teach us about humanity (you)?”
  • “If this passage is from God, what should change in our lives?”
  • “Is there someone you think you can share this passage with before we meet again?”
  • Accountability (Luke 10:17)
  1. Follow through
  • “Do you remember what scripture we spoke about last week?”
    • “Did anything in your life as a result of what we read?”
  • “Did you get a chance to share it with anyone [the person they identified]?”
  • “We identified several needs last week and planned to meet those needs. How did it go?”

 “Do you want to meet again?” “When do you want to meet again?”

This is a practical question. You may not get someone to commit to a fifty-week study. But you can give your mentee/group the option to meet again next week. If they are really seeking and if the meeting is filling a need, they will tell you they want to meet again.

  • Reproduction (2Tim 2:2; John 15:8)

Remember, the person you are mentoring has their own circles of relationships. After a few weeks of meeting you should do the exercise we did above by writing down the names of the eight people they spend most of our time with and underline the names of those who we think are receptive (and if none are receptive then we should urge them to keep praying)

At some point they could replicate what you have been doing with them. You keep meeting with them to find out how it’s going and continue mentoring them in this process (DNA).

You don’t need to ever attend the meeting they are running. They are the inside leader. You coach from the outside.

This is the power of reproduction!

This is Jesus Christ’s strategy to transform the worldQ

CONCLUSION

Most important about this method above is that it is:

  • Simple
  • Biblical
  • Reproducible.

[1] DNA is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning, and reproduction of all known living organisms (Wikipedia)

[2] Adapted and modified from David Watson, Contagious Disciple Making (2014, Ch. 15).



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