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4 Key Ingredients for Discipleship
In the Great Commission Yeshua (Jesus) commanded His followers to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matt 28:19-20). The moment you believe upon Yeshua and are born again, you become a lifelong disciple, and take up the charge to become an active “discipler.”
As a young believer, I sometimes felt frustrated by the vagueness of the Great Commission. Why couldn’t Yeshua go into more detail of the ‘how to’ for His global discipleship initiative? I believe He left out a specific formula so that we would study His life example and apply what we learn from it through our own creativity, methods and personalities.
Here are four keys that I have found to help bring disciples to maturity:
The foundation for all discipleship is the Word of God. Not only do disciples need to develop a lifestyle of regular meditation in the Word, but they should be familiar with all the books of the Bible, taught how to read it them context, and know how to teach others the basics (2 Tim 3:16-17), through personal testimonies of how you are personally applying God’s Word in your life. Don’t limit Bible teaching to someone standing in front of a group of people holding a microphone—or on YouTube!
2) One on One Meetings
Quality time, face to face is a must. In these meetings we listen on two levels, 1) to the person we are meeting with and, 2) to the Holy Spirit. Don’t assume the advice you gave the last person you met with will work for your new disciple. We need to be led by the Holy Spirit in how we ask questions, share our hearts and pray. These personal meetings can happen anywhere (I like to take my guys hiking in the Judean hills). Be sure to include transparency and accountability. Share about your shortcomings and victories, but don’t do all the talking.
3) The Supernatural
Seeking to walk in and demonstrate the supernatural is critical (1 Cor 2:4-5). This includes praying for the sick together, experiencing God’s presence in worship, giving prophetic words, ministering in foreign nations, and so much more. Training others in the gifts of the Holy Spirit requires faith and risk. The more they are exercised, the more they will grow. We cannot love, engage in spiritual warfare or do anything else that will bear kingdom fruit without the supernatural anointing of God on our lives.
When you spend time investing into someone, the natural result is an authentic relationship. You don’t have to be so serious all the time. Invite them into your personal life. Play a game. Go to the beach. Hike a mountain. Laugh, eat and enjoy life together. With so many broken families today, multitudes are longing to experience and be a part of a loving family (Mal 4:6). Watching how you interact with your spouse and children is part of their training.
The beauty of these four areas is that few people excel in them all. This means everyone in the body of Messiah has a part to play. You may not be a great teacher, but instead excel in hospitality and bringing others into your home. Great, then do it regularly and intentionally! (Rom. 12:6-8)
Recently, one of the young men I have been mentoring for years has begun meeting with a teenager to invest into him. Watching someone grow in the Lord to the point where they are ready to sow into someone else, brings me great joy and makes all the effort worth the while!
Yeshua’s command to make disciples requires sacrifice, unconditional love, patience and availability. No matter how you feel, where you are at in life or what level of training you have, you still have something to give to someone else. As you obey the Great Commission, He is ready to use you in ways you have not imagined!
In the comments below, let me know what has worked for you as you disciple others!