What Discipleship Looks Like

What Discipleship Looks Like (Part II)

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

This week we have Nicole Ingersoll, Assistant Advisor at the University of Buffalo BASIC, back to conclude her thoughts on discipleship in Part II. If you would like to read Part I, you can find it here.

Last week I talked about the call of God on your life and making the choice to honor God in all that you do. I wanted to pick our conversation back up this week by giving you some practical ways to exercise discipleship on a daily basis.

Share Your Story

Timothy takes what he has learned on his own journey and what Paul has taught him, and starts pouring into all people. It is stated in the Bible that from a young age, it is clear that Timothy deeply loves the Lord and his people. Paul then gives Timothy opportunities to help serve the kingdom. Timothy goes alongside of Paul to various churches and starts sharing his story.

We need to realize the importance of our stories! What God has done in us is not just for us, but can serve as encouragement and motivation to others. Because they can see that we rose from our ashes and are now here, serving God. We were dead in sin but Christ came with his love, mercy, grace and forgiveness and spoke breath into our lungs. Now we are alive! We have peace and joy that comes from the Lord that sustains us in really hard situations. People notice that.

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2

Because of the relationships we have with others, we have these super cool opportunities arise where we get to speak into their lives. We get to encourage them. Listen to them. Hear about their struggles and figure out their strengths. We get to give advice. Because of our relationship with them, we can speak godliness into their lives.

Be intentional with your relationships and be prepared to share the good news of the Lord when he opens up those opportunities. Don’t allow Satan to steal an opportunity because you don’t know what good works God has done in you.

Make sure you follow up with them too. Paul writes to a few different churches AFTER he was already there. Giving them an update, keeping in touch, telling them that they are not alone, and encouraging them. Whether they are believers or not, show them that you love them because of how you are present.

Teach Them

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”  2 Timothy 2:1-2

The next step is that we become like Paul. We continue to pour into these people we have relationships with, we raise them up to be servant leaders for the Kingdom. We equip them so that they can in turn disciple others. That is how multiplication happens. What started with just one person pouring into you, then turns into a group of 3 and then 6 and then 9 and it keeps growing until ALL people know God’s name and his love.

The people who love God will become so vast that Satan won’t be able to touch us. Even if he takes things from this world from us, he won’t be able to break us down because we will be there for each other, encouraging, listening, praying, and portraying Jesus.

Practical Applications

So what does that look like? How do we incorporate discipleship into our already busy lives?

It can be as simple as committing to meet with one person for one hour once a week. It can be praying with someone on a regular basis. Grabbing coffee and asking them, “How are you really doing? What is actually going on in your life?” and then following up with them. You don’t need to be a licensed minister to disciple. You don’t even have to have ALL of the answers at the time that you meet with them. You just have to be obedient in what the Lord has called you to do.

Be aware of the value of the person’s soul who is sitting next to you in class or in your small groups or who you stand next to at work. Realize that we all have an eternal life ahead of us. That all the people you interact with have an eternity ahead of them.

Do you realize that taking the time to truly get to know someone could help them realize the truth that is in our Lord and Savior? Do you realize that them recognizing that truth and having them call upon his name, means that they will spend their eternity in Heaven, singing with the angels, “How Great is Our God,” instead of Hell in complete darkness and never ever receiving rest?

Are you serious enough about where those in your life will be spending eternity? Are you willing to share an hour of your time a week pouring into someone else? My challenge to you is to look into your relationships. Find someone who you can spend time with, maybe someone who you know is going through something and could really use a friend, and make time to disciple them.

About the Author

Sam DiStefano

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Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.

What Discipleship Looks Like

What Discipleship Looks Like (Part I)

Sam DiStefano Advisors & Student Leaders, Leadership, Personal Development 0 Comments

One of our desires at BASIC is to be relevant and connect you with content that is going to best help you as you serve your campus and ministry context! In an effort to bring in fresh perspective and new ideas, we have asked a few student leaders and advisors to share their voice! We’ll get to hear from one of them each month. This week, we have the honor of hearing from Nicole Ingersoll.

Nicole IngersollNicole Ingersoll is the current Assistant Advisor at the University at Buffalo. When Nicole went off to college, she wanted nothing to do with a Christian community, but BASIC did a 180 on her perspective of the church and she now realizes how integral it is to her faith. As a result, Nicole has a huge passion for college students and loves being able to serve them through BASIC. She deeply believes that God uses the things that used to hold us down, to draw us closer to him. Nicole majored in Human Resources Management at UB and currently works as a Benefits Administrator at Baker Victory Services in Lackawanna, NY. A few random facts about Nicole is that she loves to play guitar and sing, her favorite flowers are sunflowers, and she was bit by an Emu as a child (yes, that really happened). This is what she had to share.

Discipleship is a word that a lot of Christians throw around. Leaders use it to teach their students. Students use it when connecting with their peers. But what does it actually mean? What does discipleship look like?

I found two definitions of Discipleship, the first being “Discipleship is the relationship between a teacher (discipler) and student (disciple).” This is a concept that most of us can identify with because we saw it demonstrated in real life at school. Another definition states, “one who gives full loyalty and support to another.” What I love about both of these definitions is that they both involve TWO people. Not one person, doing something to better themselves, but two people. Simply put, discipleship is a relationship. You don’t need a proper degree in ministry or theology. All you need is a relationship with other people and a relationship with God.

Missional Call

When Paul is writing to Timothy, he starts by talking about the grace and mercy that the Lord has shown him. 1 Timothy 1:12 states, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.” It then continues in 1 Timothy 1:14, “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

It is clear in these verses, that Paul realizes that Jesus has given him so much. His thankfulness compels him to action and a missional life. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:16)

In this verse, Paul calls himself “the worst of sinners.” If I had a penny, for every time that I thought I was the worst in God’s eyes, I would be rich. So many of us can identify with Paul here. But he isn’t saying it in a way to condemn himself. He uses the things he hates about himself and his past to relate to those around him. He uses those things to bring Glory to God.

Paul realized that his testimony and journey had a purpose because of the grace he had been shown. He realized that he could relate to those who also sinned, because he was not perfect and yet Jesus Christ was continuing to work in his life. You have to realize that your testimony is your story. It’s your opportunity to share with others what Christ has done in your life.

Having a relationship with Christ, and understanding the purpose that that relationship then puts on your life is the first step in discipleship. You need to truly, passionately, believe in the call on your life.

Honoring God with Our Lives

Along with our missional call, we are called to strive to honor God with every part of our life.

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:7-10

Discipleship takes work, it says in that verse that we labor and we strive, but that we do it because we believe in our God. A few times in the Bible, it brings up the fact that Timothy is younger. But he doesn’t let this stop him from the call that Jesus has put on his life to share his story and the word of God.

1 Timothy 4:12 declares, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Our age is not an excuse. We can be used by God to do great things, just like Timothy! We need to actively try to live in a way that honors God and his word.

Once you believe in the call on your life and have made the choice to honor God in all you do then you have a responsibility to disciple others. I’ll have more on that next week so check back for some practical tips on sharing your story and pouring into relationships in Part II!

About the Author

Sam DiStefano

Twitter

Sam DiStefano went to school at SUNY Geneseo and earned a degree in Childhood with Special Education. It was at college, through BASIC, that she learned what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus. In June 2014, she joined on staff with BASIC and planted a chapter at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY that fall. BASIC has deeply affected Sam’s life and she feels called to help other students experience freedom and hope in Christ.