Effective Discipleship

Effective discipleship

No one would question that discipleship is important, even essential to Christianity. Yet, in my opinion as a whole, the Church is failing in effective discipleship. I think there are various reasons for this gaping hole in our church paradigm ranging from time issues to commitments. But there are a few things we can do as the Church if we really want to become more effective in discipleship and reaching the next generation for Christ.

Be intentional.

Effective discipleship (1)Before leaving His disciples behind, Jesus gave the command many of us are familiar with: “Go and make disciples…” Discipling others is not an afterthought of Jesus, but instead His determined way of reaching the world. Whether you realize it or not, you are always discipling others. The question is: is it in the way of Christ? Discipleship happens whether you plan or prepare for it. But effective discipleship only happens with certain intentionality. Choosing to make disciples of Jesus is not an option Christians can ignore. Effective discipleship begins when we understand discipling others is the way Christ intends for us to live out our lives. We have to take the initiative and reach out to others around us with intentionality.

Leverage influence.

Everyone has some amount of influence. What are you doing with that influence? What we fail to Effective discipleship (2)believe is that our influence matters. But it does! The influence you have is much more powerful than you realize. Taking the relationships you have and investing in them is a huge part of effective discipleship. Far too many are “waiting” to have more influence or hoping to have a greater audience. This is not Jesus’ concern. Jesus is asking what are you doing with the one or two relationships you have right now? I believe that if you leverage well the influence you have now, you will become more effective in discipling greater numbers later…but it just may be through those you have discipled.

People, not programs.

Effective discipleship (4)Discipleship is about people, i.e. relationships. One of the reasons I believe discipleship has been so ineffective in the past is that churches have spent too much time trying to develop programs to “disciple” people. Programs are good for doctrine but not necessarily for discipleship. People disciple people, not programs. Yes, in discipling others, teaching the Bible, studying scripture, prayer etc. are all part of the relationship, but discipleship is not about completing a list or course. Discipleship is about loving people, equipping people and empowering people but also sharing in the God-life together. As every person is unique and different, so will every approach need to be in discipling them in Jesus’ way. The only way to find what each person needs and where they need to grow is to spend time together. Effective discipleship hinges on building meaningful relationships with others. Apart from healthy relationships, there is no effective discipleship.

What else do you see as being essential to effective discipleship? Comment below.

George Profile George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as the creative arts and mission pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA

The Youth Culture Report Digest

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Hey everyone,

Here are three articles you may have missed over the weekend that we published on our site: www.theyouthculturereport.com If you have not subscribed to our weekly newsletter, sign-up and get a top 10 list emailed to you each Friday. Here are samples of the content on our site. If it relates to youth culture, you will find it here!

denzelequalizer Check out What’s Hot? This article is about things that are tearing up the charts over the last several days.

dove bath Check out Dove: Legacy. This video talks about how a mom’s self image is passed onto their children.

Can_We_Auto-Correct_Humanity__-_YouTube Watch this video of spoken word on addressing our attention to self and relationships: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Lent Questions Day 40

lent 2014

46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

With what is Jesus asking you to trust into His hands?

 

With today being Resurrection Day, what connotes “good, new life” to you?

 

Now that Lent is over, how do you see that your prayer has changed? Fasting? Spiritual awareness?

 

What does Christ want you to do in this next season of life?

 

 

Lent Questions Day 39

lent 2014

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

What did Jesus mean when He said: “It is finished”?

 

With Easter one day away, how do you feel about your Lenten season? Will you finish well?

 

Is there anything which you have started that you did not complete?

 

How can you work on that?

 

What task is Christ desirous for you to complete?

 

As Lent ends tomorrow, what will you walk away thinking was the most memorable?

 

Was there anything extremely difficult about Lent for you? Anything easier?

 

What lesson will  you take from Lent this year that you feel is the most memorable or life-altering?

 

Lent Questions Day 38

lent 2014

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

 

How have you felt abandoned? Alone? Desperate?

 

Where have you turned on those occasions? To whom or what have you looked to for peace, satisfaction, or relief?

 

Have you ever felt like God has turned His back on you?

 

Have you ever turned your back on God? Another?

 

How have you been crying out to God this Lent season? In what ways has God met you in your times of “abandonment”?

 

 

 

Lent Questions Day 37

lent 2014

26When Jesus saw his mother and his favorite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” 27Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home. John 19:26-27

 

What does this passage teach us about relationships?

 

How has Lent helped you in your relationships?

 

Do you feel that there are any relationships that need to change? Be strengthened?

 

What are your roles and responsibilities in your current relationships?

 

As Lent continues, how do you need to focus more time and energy in your relationship with Christ? Family? Friends?Those who need Christ?