On My Mind and Heart: Discipleship 101


The past couple of weeks the terms “disciple” and “discipleship” keep showing up in my life – in conversations, sermons and my Bible reading.  And, one of the common themes of discussion is usually about “how to disciple” someone.  Over the years, that’s a question that I’ve learned is both hard and easy to answer.  It’s hard, not because the process is really that difficult, but because to “disciple” someone well means we have to sacrifice.  And, if we are honest, that can be hard for all of us sometimes.   But, since “making disciples” is THE COMMISSION given to us in scripture, I think we should all be more prepared to accomplish this Kingdom task.

So, here is an easy 3 step guide to Discipleship 101 to help get you started:

Discipleship takes time.

I said discipleship means that we have to sacrifice and there is often no thing more difficult for us to sacrifice than our time.  We are busy people with lots to do.  But, it is impossible to be a “teacher” to someone else (which is what discipling largely is) without spending time with them.  To disciple well you have to spend regular time with another person talking, studying, telling stories, and praying.  There is no substitute for being together.

Discipleship means knowing your limits.

Several years ago I was in a small group pastors’ training session with Pastor Andy Stanley when I learned something that’s continued to stick with me when I disciple someone.  Speaking of the limits of discipleship responsibility, Andy said, “It’s not your responsibility to fill someone else’s cup. But it is your responsibility to empty your cup into the person whom you are discipling.”  That makes so much sense!  I can never be everything that someone else needs to grow spiritually, as a leader, as a man or as a person.  And that burden is not mine to bear.  However, I can be open, honest and willing to empty myself, my experiences, my prayers and my heart to another so that he may grow from my experiences and encouragement.

Discipleship requires knowing the Truth.

It’s not enough to just spend time with someone and give them a bunch of advice.  True discipleship means helping to train someone in their spiritual growth as a Christian.  And that means knowing the Truth of the Gospel and speaking the Truth of the Gospel.  Jesus Christ is the guide and the model to whom we are aspiring (not the latest leadership or self-help guru or life coach).  That means reading and studying the Bible – together.  That means relying on the Word of God instead of your own “feelings” or “instinct” to guide thoughts, actions and decisions.  Discipling well requires that we use the Truth as our standard, nothing else and nothing less.

Who are you giving to? You might be surprised …

photoAt Adventure Christian Church we are currently teaching a series titled, “Money Matters.”  The point of this series is not about getting people to give more to the church.  The point is for all of us to acknowledge the influence that money has on our lives and to learn to be in control of money rather than to be controlled by it.  It sounds easy enough!  But, the reality is, it’s not.

Today’s post is titled “Who are you giving to? You might be surprised” and is essentially my sermon notes from this past Sunday.  There was a long list included in the message so I thought it could be beneficial to some to post the notes for use later.  I realize this post isn’t as detailed as some others, but remember it’s just my notes.  Listen to the message for the full lesson.

You can listen to the sermon here:  Buddy’s Sermon January 13, 2013.

The Enemy Wants To Deceive You

Mark 12:15 – But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. Why are you trying to trap me? he asked..

1.Money does not equal security

2. Money does not equal satisfaction

Proverbs 15:17 –  Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.

3.  “Your” money is not really yours

Whose “Portrait” are you giving to?

Mark 12:16 – They brought the coin, and he asked them, Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?  Caesars, they replied

1.  What/who are you most disappointed with right now?

2.  Whatsoever you spend your money on?

3.  Where do you spend your time?

4.  What consumes your thoughts?

5.  What are you scared to lose?

6.  Where do you turn/go when you have been hurt?

7.  What brings you the most joy?

8.  Whose applause do you long for?

(note: The list in this section was changed in respects but largely came from a Tim Harlow blog post who said he adapted it from Kyle Idelman’s new book coming out soon.)

You Are Made in God’s Image, So Give Your All to Him

Mark 12:17 – Then Jesus said to them, Give to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Gods.  And they were amazed at him.

They gave to Caesar because everything was his — the property, the money, the farm, the animals.  They understood that to be true.  God has made us His as well.  Everything we are is His.  So let’s give Him our ALL.