Category Archives: For Disciplers

Summary of Leadership Training – 18 Jul 2011

This is a summary of the training for Crossroads leaders earlier this week.

The Wheel – Christ the Center / The Obedient Christian

Review of general principles for discipling others: 

1. Tell them what – define / describe the spiritual character or discipline desired

2. Show them how – show how it can be done

3. Do it with them – beyond just demonstrating how it’s done, do it together

4. Give them an assignment – people most often will do what they know someone is going to check up on

 

Additional principles for discipling others:

Two key things to teach

1. Why … what is the Biblical motivation for the spiritual discipline?

2. How … what is a good methodology for doing it?

 

Christ the Center

1. Confirm their personal relationship with Christ

– according to George Barna surveys, 60-70% of people attending church in America are not Christians

– we can’t assume because someone has gone to church for a long time or has volunteered to lead a small group that they actually have a personal relationship with Christ

– how to confirm:

a. ask them to share their testimony (not in a challenging, confrontational way; just ask them to share their story of how they became a Christian)

b. have them read My Heart – Christ’s Home and discuss their response

c. Study and discuss Lessons on Assurance  … studies and scripture memory on Assurance of Salvation, Answered Prayer, Victory, Forgiveness, and Guidance

2. Why would we want to make Christ the Center of our lives?

– John 15: 7 – abiding in Christ leads to answered prayer

– John 15: 8 – abiding in Christ leads to bearing fruit which glorifies God

3. How do we make Christ the Center?

– Time in prayer and the Word are key

– Teach them to have a quiet time of fellowship with Christ

7 Minutes With God is a good starting point

 

Obedience to Christ

1. Why is obedience important?

– Jeremiah 29: 11 – the Lord wants and knows what is best for me; His plans (commands) are for my good

– John 14: 21 – it proves or demonstrates our love for Him

– Isaiah 1: 19; Deut 28: 1-14 – to be blessed

– Joshua 1: 8 – it brings prosperity and success

– Psalm 119: 100 – to gain understanding beyond our years

2. Resources for Obedience

– Philippians 4: 13 – we can do all things through Christ; He gives us the strength to obey

– 1 Corinthians 10: 13 – God always provides a way of escape when we are confronted with temptation

– Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 – faithful Christians will lift us up; a cord of 3 strands is not easily torn apart

– Proverbs 29: 18 – where there is no vision, the people perish; envision yourself obeying; plan how you will react when tempted

– Proverbs 3: 5,6 – pray for guidance; acknowledge Him in all our ways; ask yourself ‘What would Jesus do?’

 

Next Training Session: The Word and Prayer

 

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Christ the Center – John 15: 5

John 15: 5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Jesus used the picture of a vine (or tree trunk) and connected branches to illustrate His relationship to each believer, promising that each one who remains (abides or lives) in him would bear much fruit. This picture provides a couple of points to consider in our relationship with Christ.

  • The branch does not bear fruit by straining and trying to bear fruit, but by staying connected to the vine and receiving daily nourishment from the vine. Our focus must remain not on what we do for Christ, but on allowing Him to work through us as we abide in Him.
  • The branch does not need to be moved far away from the vine to wither up and die … the distance of the width of the thinnest blade that slices between the vine and the branch is enough to kill. We must never forget that apart from Christ, we can do nothing!

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Christ the Center – Gal 2: 20

Galatians 2: 20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

One of the great differences and privileges of Christianity over the false religions of the world is this great truth that Christ lives in us! The Christian life is not one of laboriously trying to keep up in following Christ and serving and obeying Him, but one of yielding to Him and allowing Him to live through us. My Heart – Christ’s Home provides a good overview of what this relationship is like.

Too often we act as if we believe God just wants us to come visit Him at His house on Sunday mornings and doesn’t care whether we think about Him the rest of the week. Some take it further and at least try to serve Him during the week, but this still falls far short of what Christ wants … to live in us.

This experience of Christ living in us begins when we accept Christ, or invite Him into our hearts as Lord and Savior … 2 Corinthians 5: 17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! When we invite Christ in, He responds and comes in … to live in us for eternity! It’s up to us to recognize His presence, listen to Him, and do what He says.

Disciplers recognize that one of their major responsibilities is to help those they are discipling to live this out in their daily live.

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Planting Seeds of Integrity

I would like to recommend a great blog post that I just read, that I would title Plant Seeds of Integrity.

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The Basics

If you haven’t noticed and read the tab at the top of my blog titled The Basics, then I would like to encourage you to read it. In fact, I’ll make it easy for you and include the contents here …

One of the best things I learned early in my Christian life was an illustration that shows the basics and essentials of living the Christian life. It has become my conviction over the years that if a Christian will get established in these areas, they will be able to learn whatever else is needed in their particular walk with God and face any challenge.

The illustration is called The Wheel and was developed by Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators. I encourage you to check it out, memorize it, and practice it.

I will be posting in more detail about the topics covered in the wheel. As I post these, I will try to remember to update The Basics page with links to each post.

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Leaders Put Good Intentions into Action

A blog that I follow and that often inspires me is one that is about leadership in general, but the writer often writes from an obvious Christian perspective. While his blog post today, Leaders Put Good Intentions into Action, isn’t written with that obvious perspective, it does have obvious application to Christians. It is a good challenge to us all.

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Filed under Bearing Fruit, For Disciplers, General, Leadership

My Expectations of a Disciple-Maker: FAITH

Yep, another acronym: FAITH

I shared this one last Saturday morning with two men from our church who wanted to be discipled and to disciple someone else. In addition to sharing with them what I expect of someone I’m discipling, I shared with these men what I expect of someone I’m training to be a disciple-maker.

As implied in the title, I’m looking for a man of FAITH. As I was trained in this area by The Navigators, the FAT part of it was the same as what we look for in a disciple (Faithful, Available, Teachable), but I felt like I wanted to change that since I would obviously still be looking for those qualities in a disciple-maker. So here’s my take on being a man (or woman) of FAITH:

Follower: they have a follower … someone to disciple (or a least they’re looking for and are ready for one); it’s best to have someone to share what you’re learning with immediately rather than waiting until the end of a lengthy training process when you will have forgotten a lot of what you were taught.

Able to Teach: without the ability to pass on what you have learned to someone else, you really won’t be successful at discipling; this takes very simple communication skills, not public-speaking; if properly trained, the information will be easily transferrable.

Initiative: they don’t have to constantly be reminded or encouraged to do something; the ‘Well Done’ expressed in Jesus’ parable was not for obedience, but for initiative.

Transparent: openness to share their lives, including weaknesses, struggles, and sins

Heart for God & Men: Great Commandment … love God with heart, soul, and mind and neighbor as self; passion to serve God and to minister to others

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My Expectations of a Disciple: FAT

Sunday morning I met with the people at our church who had signed up a few weeks ago to be discipled (in response to my challenge during my message). The primary purpose of the meeting was to get things kicked off in the discipleship process by discussing expectations, both theirs and mine.

I had them share their expectations as they introduced themselves to the group. Their expectations were pretty non-specific and along the lines of what I anticipated. We talked a little bit about the difference between discipling and mentoring, at least from my perspective. I shared that I usually think of discipling in the context of a more mature Christian teaching a young Christian spiritual disciplines to help them to grow, whereas mentoring is often more of a peer-to-peer relationship of encouraging and guiding in developing a ministry skill. I did stress in regards to their expectations that I was not going to be teaching a class … that this was about one-to-one discipling and that I would be helping to connect them with a discipler, in most cases someone I was training to disciple them.

Most of our time was spent sharing my expectations of someone I would disciple (and naturally, what I had told those I am training to expect). I explained that a good part of my discipleship training came from The Navigators who often train by using easy-to-remember illustrations and acronyms. Thus, I was looking for FAT people to disciple:

Faithful: you can be counted on to do what you say … if given an assignment to do/read something by our next meeting and you agree to it, you are expected to have it done

Available: you can’t disciple someone who is not available … it’s best to engage face-to-face, preferable weekly, but not always possible; evaluate the effectiveness of email / phone / internet chat interaction

Teachable: while disagreeing with what you’re being taught is not forbidden (or even necessarily discouraged), constantly rejecting direction given and not even trying what is suggested prevents progress

While it is not necessary to communicate these expectations to someone you wish to disciple, it is helpful for you to keep them in mind as you evaluate whether it is an effective use of your time to continue to seek to disciple them.

I also pointed out to the group that it is also very possible to disciple someone without them knowing that you were doing so. This would be common with someone that you lead to Christ. It should naturally progress from that point to continue to meet with them and share with them how to get established as a Christian … teaching them to pray, to read the Bible, to have a quiet time, etc. All of this could be done without ever asking them if you can disciple them or telling them that you are doing so. Much like a parent with a newborn baby … you don’t tell them what you’re going to do or get their permission, you just love them and teach them what they need to learn to survive and grow.

The adventure begins!

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