I am now working with eight young men in four triads (me and two other guys). We meet every other week. I love meeting with these guys and finding out where God is working in their lives. And I love being part of what God is doing in their lives.
But I don’t really know what I’m doing.
Ha! Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Making disciples is an OJT experience for this guy (on the job training, learning by doing).
I spent four decades in Christian ministry, but it was classroom-oriented, with me seeing dozens of young people for 45 minutes each day. It was mass-produced disciple-making, not the kind of relational ministry that can take place in micro-groups like my triads. Classroom management I understood; I was good at it. Instructional design. Assessment. All the tools in the educator’s toolkit, I had those down.
But sit me down with a young man who wants me to disciple him? Where to begin?
Over the past year I’ve been learning as I go.
One thing that encouraged me early on was realizing that the only three components that are necessary in a disciple-making relationship are always at hand for the believer: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people. I have drawn on all three extensively as I’ve felt my way in this new (to me) form of ministry. I have the confidence that I am doing what Jesus told his church to do: make disciples. That means every time I pray for God to give me wisdom as I work with my guys, I know that God is ready to give me what I ask for.
One excellent resource that we have on our “Discipleship Resources” shelf is Multiply by Francis Chan. The book is designed for small groups or micro-groups to use in a disciple-making context. The book surveys the entirety of the Bible, so it is also a Bible study. Short videos (available at multiplymovement.com) accompany each chapter. If you’re not sure where to start, Multiply would be a good first step in disciple-making.
Don’t let uncertainty about method keep you from getting involved in a disciple-making relationship. If you love Jesus and have walked with God for a while, you have something to share with a younger believer. If you’ve put your faith in Christ, you already have the essential tools to help someone else: God’s Spirit, God’s Word, and (here at PPC, access to) God’s people.
Don’t hang back. If you are a younger believer, begin to pray that God will bring someone into your life to help you grow. If you are an older believer, think and pray about whom you could approach. Justin Gravitt has a great blog post on looking for someone to disciple; you’re looking for someone who is FAT: faithful, available, and teachable.
It is our dream that PPC be filled with older believers investing in younger believers, that making disciples is as much part of our DNA as solid teaching and preaching. It is our dream that PPC someday be known as a fellowship filled with disciples who make disciples who make disciples.
Pastor of Discipleship