The Art of Discipleship

As part of a church leaders class I took a couple of months ago, I read Conformed To His Image by Kenneth Boa. One of the chapters discussed a philosophy of discipleship.

A few quotes in the chapter either hit me with an “aha” moment or served as an excellent reminder. For those of you also digging into the art of discipleship may these assist you as well.

Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8; “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.” – Dag Hammarskjold

Some people come to Jesus as a solution to their… problems. When he doesn’t rectify their difficulties in the way they had hoped, their unrealized expectations can paralyze further growth. We cannot follow Jesus when we are asking him to follow us. We limit our spiritual development when we fail to make the transition from seeing Jesus as a problem solver to seeing him as our life.

But the point of the Great Commission is to make disciples, not merely converts.”

While Jesus ministered to the masses, he focused his time and training on a small number of disciples. He was closer to the Twelve than to the seventy, and closer to the three (Peter, James, and John) than to the rest of the Twelve. Instead of dissipating the bulk of his energy on the curious multitudes, our Lord concentrated on a handful of people who were teachable and committed. By building his life into these men, he was equipping them to reach an ever-widening circle of people through multiplication rather than addition.”

The Lord may call you to nurture some people for a brief moment or for a long season, but they were and never will be yours. They are always his. A willingness to expose people to other gifts and resources is a mark of the humility of authentic security in Christ.

We can participate in the work of God, but we cannot measure or control what he is doing in us and through us. Thus it is always unwise to determine effectiveness by comparing one person with another or one ministry with another.”

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