Last time we studied the role of God in discipleship process. Today, we will be learning the role of disciplers and disciples to the discipleship process. Before we dig deeper on this matter, we can see here that both God and disciplers are involve in the process of disciple making. It’s not just about becoming a teacher to another person, but it is all about having relationship with God.
God works in discipleship as well as the people involve all throughout the process. In this lesson we will see the mandate of every discipler. We will aslo understand how discipler works for his disciples.
A Discipler Instructs and Teaches People
Colossians 1:28-29 We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.
A Discipler proclaims the gospel and at the same time instructing and teaching all people. As I frequently say, all people who were called by Christ will eventually become a minister in one form or another. It is inevitable for each one who genuinely accepted Jesus Christ to share the gospel to other people.
Disciplers teach all people with all wisdom for the purpose of presenting every person mature in Christ. The Greek word used for instructing literally means “warning”. But it is not about warning about danger but it is about admonishing and giving the people the attention. It is to put into the minds of the people the teachings of Christ.
A Discipler Prays for His Disciples
Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God every time I remember you. I always pray with joy in my every prayer for all of you because of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
A Discipler prays for his disciples. He constantly remembers them in his prayer which is accompanied with joy. He prays for his disciples to continuously follow what he teaches and exemplifies. He is joyful like a father whenever his children follow what he teaches.
As Paul made a clear statement that he is indeed thankful for the believers at Philippi for their participation in the gospel. Here we see an obedient group of disciples of Paul where Paul has been very proud of. In the same way, all disciplers are proud every time we learn things that they taught us. And for this, Christ our great discipler is also well pleased every time we put to practice what he taught us as recorded in the Bible.
As we also remember the life of Jesus, he is someone who exemplifies to be a good discipler. He prays for his disciples. Not only as one who taught them to obey, but someone who also prays for them to be a good follower, disciples who believe and do what the Lord says.
A Discipler Is Imitated By His Disciples.
Philippians 3:17 Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example.
The sad part of this passage is that in reality, while everybody claims to be a disciple, not everyone is carefully imitating the works of their discipler. To be imitators is to do exactly what his discipler is doing. He obeys Jesus Christ as his discipler also obeys Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, this is probably one of the most significant works of a discipler. It is only when he reproduces himself that he can actually say that he has become a real discipler. His disciples are the evidence of his labor. Timothy became a preacher and an overseer of the Church. The first disciples of Jesus became the evangelists of their time after Jesus was taken up to heaven.
To make things simple to understand, a discipler is someone who multiplies himself. He is someone who understands the real meaning of discipleship.
A Discipler Acts As A Father
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his own children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you live in a way worthy of God who calls you to his own kingdom and his glory.
A discipler is like a father, he loves, encourages and exhorts his children. In spiritual context, the disciples are the spiritual children of the discipler. He has the authority to love, encourage, and exhorts his children. Not only that, he also has the right to discipline his children. We are not talking a discipline in the form of spanking, but a discipline in the form of rebuke and correction applying what is written in Matthew 18.
In reality, most people accept only the first part of this passage, but not the second part. Paul said “…charged every one of you, as a father doth his children. That you would walk worthy of God who hath called you as to His Kingdom and glory.”
The Greek word used for “charge” means “to be witness, to testify”. Many people will plainly accept this passage as it is, but in reality only a few applies this one. And I believe this is the biggest challenge of every discipler, how are they going to encourage and admonish their disciples to put into effect what they have taught them.
A Discipler Sets a Good Example
1 Timothy 4:10-13 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
A discipler is not only to be imitated by the disciples, but should also become a good example himself. As I always say, it will be hard for someone to teach something that is not true in his personal life.
As Paul said in the book of 2 Timothy, to be an overseer or a deacon, one has to live an above reproach life. This means that a discipler should not be seen with anything that is spiritually unhealthy. Though some people may accuse a discipler of doing something wrong, such thing can be proven by way of living. The discipler’s life will be the living proof of his innocence of any malicious accusations.
A discipler is to be a good example to the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. These are the things that disciples should see to his discipler.
A Discipler Reproduce Himself
2 Timothy 2:2 And entrust what you heard me say in the presence of many others as witnesses to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.
We already have discussed earlier that a discipler reproduces himself by being imitated by his disciples. While it is still a challenge, Paul made it clear as he wrote to Timothy, that he should be teaching reliable men who are able to teach others what he has received from Paul.
This simply means that it is mandatory to all disciplers to pass on what they have learned. They need to teach people who are competent to teach others as well. And this is where the great challenge of discipleship lies. Though we all know these things, in reality, there are only very few people who commits themselves for discipleship.
Many of them refuse to do what their discipler is doing. But as discipler, we need to be consistent and focus on the things that Christ mandated us as his disciple. We need to be reproducing.
I think the best way to resolve this issue is to go back again to the passage. We need to look for competent people who can also teach others.
A discipler is someone who is involved in teaching, praying, modeling and reproducing. He is someone who is a disciple of Christ and is actively participating in sharing the gospel to others. He is someone who teaches others to obey everything Christ Jesus has commanded. He is someone who takes heed of the Great Commission.
The Following Are Very Helpful Discipleship Books
|The Adventure of Discipling Others: Training in the Art of Disciplemaking
By Ron Bennett & John Purvis / NAV Press
Jesus believed in the power of one. From the woman dawdling by the well to the tax collector dangling from a tree. Jesus called out and mentored the individual. He turned the beleaguered into the beautiful, the meager into the mighty, by pointing them to God and spotlighting their potential. He knew one person could stir up the world and make a spiritual difference. Just like Jesus you can pour faith into believers, helping them grow spiritually and fulfill their unique niche in God’s kingdom. With The Adventure of Discipling Others, anyone can mentor and love the process. Reading this book you’ll cultivate a passion for life-to-life discipling. You’ll discover the amazing impact one life can have on another.
|The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ
By Bill Hull / NAV Press
The first book in The Navigator Reference Library, The Complete Book of Discipleship is the definitive A to Z resource on discipleship and disciple making for every Christian. Drawing from the best in discipleship literature as well as from his own extensive disciple making experience with The Navigators, Bill Hull pulls together all relevant topics in one comprehensive volume. Well-organized and fully indexed, you’ll find included such topics as spiritual growth, transformation, spiritual disciplines, and discipleship in the local church. Given that The Navigators have more than 70 years of practical discipleship ministry experience world-wide, you’ll find The Complete Book of Discipleship a trusted resource.