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.
“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.
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.