Often, people readily agree that discipleship is necessary and will even assent to what it entails, yet they still do not take steps to actually make disciples as is commanded. This is because:
- We have difficulty transitioning from the theological principles to the practical nuts and bolts.
- It is often difficult to fulfill all three components of discipleship.
Next Steps: Individuals
If you are not already being discipled, look for someone to disciple you. Perhaps it is a pastor or an elder at your church. Maybe it is a youth group leader or a fellow student who is mature in the Lord. Humble yourself, maintain a teachable heart and ask someone to disciple you. Hold them accountable to the metrics we have learned. Then, watch yourself grow. Keep in mind you are expected to make disciples as well.
If you are eager to find someone to disciple, here are three traits to keep in mind: faithful, available, and teachable. Faithful – are they trustworthy? Will they be honest and forthright? Available – will they be around? Are they committed? Teachable – are they willing to receive teaching, exhortation, and admonishment from you? Or, are they arrogant? If you find a fellow believer with these qualities and wish to disciple them, befriend the person and ask.
If you are an individual who is convicted about the mandate to make disciples, yet attends a church that is not biblically doing so, seek out your leaders and make your concerns known. Help them grapple with the Scripture. Ask your leaders if they are not making disciples for theological reasons or practical ones. Hold them accountable to Jesus’ standards.
Next Steps: Ministries
If you are convicted about the command of discipleship, then assess your current situation. Are you fostering an environment where people are experiencing holistic discipleship? Is discipleship occurring with the few “spiritual studs” in your congregation, or is it the heartbeat of your ministry? You may need to redesign your ministry strategy so that you are faithful to Jesus’ command.
Once you have owned the vision, set the foundation with disciplers. Make sure you have people who are mature enough to train others. Then, proceed with a missional posture. Make sure individuals are being trained and given opportunities to grow and serve. Hold them accountable to this.
Implement different components. Perhaps have small group attendance and one-on-one discipleship-relationships a necessary agreement for church membership.
Dream big. Take God at His word. Make it happen.
How do we practically implement the components of Word, Relationship and Ministry? Read Implementing the Components to find out.