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Posts tagged ‘Discipleship’

Faith Handoff – Discipleship

DiscipleshipTimothy is the first second-generation Christian mentioned in the New Testament. His grandmother Lois and mother Eunice had probably heard Paul preach in Lystra during his first visit there.

They had become believers and faithfully influenced Timothy for the Lord. But his father apparently wasn’t a Christian. Paul stepped in to recruit Timothy as an aide, and also to act as his spiritual father.

Interact with God’s Word

2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:2

  1. How was Paul intentional about discipling Timothy (see Acts 16:1-5)?
  2. How had Timothy acquired his understanding of the “great truths” that he was to pass on (2:2a)?
  3. How was Timothy to evaluate and safeguard what he had learned from Paul (2:2a and 1:14)?
  4. How can you tell that Paul’s assignment to Timothy (in 2:2b) was to do individual mentoring?
  5. What kind of mentoring would produce learners able to pass their faith on?
  6. How would your church expand if every believer was winning someone else to faith and equipping him to pass on his faith?

Spend Time in Prayer

Ask God to set spiritual multiplication in motion in your church. Ask Him to begin the process with you, turning you into a reproducing disciple.

2 Timothy 1:13-14

13 Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 2:2

2 You have heard me teach many things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others.

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – Incalculable Impact

MentoringKey Bible Verse: You imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you yourselves became an example. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

Bonus Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10

By recalling how Dave had mentored me, I resolved simply to model for other men what he’d demonstrated for me. I remembered that my unfinished assignments never bothered him. And it hadn’t been assignments that had begun to turn my life around anyway. It was the fact that Dave was there, ready to offer comfort and encouragement when needed, along with hope for a very frightened mentoring partner.

Dave helped me find the balance my life needed so desperately, provided much-needed insight for my struggling business, showed me how to climb out of a deep hole of debt, and stood by me as I met and then prepared to marry the woman of my dreams.

One of his goals, during that stage of my life, had been to bring me to a point where I was prepared to work with others. Most of all, Dave reflected the joy and fulfillment that comes from “giving your life away”—investing time, energy, and genuine care in another person.

As we met week by week, month after month, Dave was preparing me for a totally new stage in my life. Under his wing, I grew from a child to a peer, developing my own heart for mentoring others.

—David A. Stoddard in The Heart of Mentoring

My Response: Have I ever experienced the joy of “giving my life away”?

Thought to Apply: It is impossible to estimate the value of the moment when two lives intersect for the first time.—Michael Card (singer, songwriter)

Adapted from The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress, 2003)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – More than Lunch

Men at LunchKey Bible Verse: Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions. Mark 3:14

Bonus Reading:  Titus 2:1, 6-10

Greg, who taught high school, intentionally explored ways to invest in young lives. He even established a fund with which to take young men out to lunch. If you know male teenagers, you know they never turn down a free lunch!

But these meals weren’t merely to have casual conversation or establish friendships. Greg targeted certain young men in his class, invited them out for lunch, and then was intentional about providing accountability, direction, and insight into their questions, commitments, and decisions.

These kids so yearned for this depth of communication and relationship that they eagerly responded to Greg’s effort. But for this to happen, Greg needed to be intentional, to make a time (and financial) commitment, and to risk by going beneath the surface in a relationship with a young person.

The payoff was huge, however, as Greg became a spiritual guide to a generation of young men whose lives he pointed toward living in light of eternity. Greg has performed weddings, attended graduations and reunions, and stayed in contact with his protégés as they made an effort to keep him in the loop of their lives. He was their spiritual guide.

—Daniel Egeler in Shaping the Next Generation

My Response: How could I turn an acquaintance into an intentional growth opportunity?

Thought to Apply: Significance is making a difference in the lives of people over time.—Phil Downer (Discipleship Network of America president)

Adapted from Shaping the Next Generation (NavPress, 2003)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – Case Study

Harvard Business School ClassKey Bible Verse: Paul and Silas have turned the rest of the world upside down, and now they are here.  – Acts 17:6

Bonus Reading:  Matthew 28:18-20

The Harvard Business School normally evaluates international corporations. But for the first time in its history, the school took a look at a church.

On the day that they discussed the case, Dr. Leonard Schlesinger began by turning to a student in the front row. Looking her in the eye, he asked, “Okay, what do you think of the one-sentence mission statement of Willow Creek Community Church?”

“Well,” she said, “they say they’re trying to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ.”

The popular professor shook his head… “No! No! No!'” he said vigorously. “I didn’t ask you what the mission statement was. I want to know what you think about it! What’s your visceral reaction? How do you feel about it?”

The young student was clearly flustered but said, “Uh, I don’t really come from a religious background. But when they say that they’re trying to turn irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ, it sounds to me like they’re well … like they’re trying to turn atheists into missionaries!”

And then, collecting her thoughts, she added, “And frankly, sir, I see that as being one hell of a challenge!”

—James Emery White in You Can Experience … a Purposeful Life

My Response: I’ll ask God for His power to accomplish the otherwise impossible.

Thought to Apply: The only adequate answer [to an aggressively pagan world] is for Christians to recover the New Testament power of spiritual aggression.—Karl Barth

Adapted from You Can Experience … a Purposeful Life (Word, 2000)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – How Daws Told It

Navy MenKey Bible Verse: Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!  – Matthew 4:19

Bonus Reading:  John 1:40-42; Matthew 4:18-22

Twenty-three years ago, I took a born-again sailor and spent time with him, showing him how to reproduce spiritually after his kind. It took lots of time. I taught him how to study God’s Word and how to fill the quiver of his heart with the arrows of God’s Word, so that the Spirit of God could lift an arrow from his heart, place it to the bow of his lips, and pierce a heart for Christ.

He found a number of men on his ship who’d go to church with him, but none would go all out for the Lord. He came to me after a month of this and said, “Dawson, I can’t get any of these guys to get down to business.”

“Listen,” I told him, “You can’t have two until you have one. Ask God to give you one man after your own heart.”

He began to pray. One day he came to me and said, “I think I’ve found him.” He worked with this new believer, and those two fellows began to grow and spiritually reproduce. On that ship 125 men found the Savior before it was sunk at Pearl Harbor. Men off that first battleship are in four continents as missionaries today. It was necessary to make a start, however. The devil’s trick is to stop anything like this before it gets started.

—Dawson Trotman in Born to Reproduce

My Response: I’ll ask God to give me one man to disciple.

Thought to Apply: Men are not soul winners because of what they know, but because of Who they know, how well they know Him, and how much they long for others to know Him.—Dawson Trotman

Adapted from Born to Reproduce (NavPress, 1997)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – A Matter of Principle

Navy ManKey Bible Verse: Teach these great truths to trustworthy people who are able to pass them on to others. 2 Timothy 2:2

Bonus Reading:  2 Timothy 1:13-14

In 1933, Les Spencer was a young sailor aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia off the California coast. While washing dishes, he received a telegram: “Meet me at the San Pedro dock at 4 p.m. I’ll be wearing a dark coat, light trousers, and tan shoes. Dawson Trotman.”

Les didn’t recognize the name. But curious, he showed up at the dock. A man emerged from the crowd of Navy men, stuck out his hand, and made fast friends with the sailor. For the next three months, Dawson spent hours teaching Les about the Bible, evangelism, and follow-up.

Then one day Les brought his friend Gurney Harris to the Trotman house. He told Daws, “Give this man what you’ve been giving me.”

“No,” Dawson replied, “I’m not going to. You’re going to give this man what I’ve been giving to you.”

Les protested, “But I’ve never been to Bible school; I don’t know how. I can’t.”

Daws replied, “If you can’t give to Gurney what I’ve given to you, then I’ve failed.”  The founder of The Navigators believed in spiritual multiplication—that Christians shouldn’t just make disciples, they should reproduce disciples who are also disciplemakers.

Les accepted the challenge.

—Robert D. Foster in The Navigator

My Response: How open am I to the challenge of becoming a disciple maker?

Adapted from The Navigator (NavPress, 1983)

Prayer for the Week:  Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.

Faith Handoff – Team that Couldn’t Lose

RelayRace Baton DropWho Said It…Greg Ogden

While serving as pastor of the Saratoga Federated Church in California, Greg developed a discipleship program—Discipleship Essentials (InterVarsity, 1998)—that has since been used by more than 15,000 people.

Greg has taught lay equipping and discipleship at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is now executive pastor of discipleship at Christ Church of Oak Brook in Illinois.

What He Said…Team that Couldn’t Lose

At the Olympic games in 1988 in Seoul, Korea, the American 4 x 100 relay team was poised to break the world record and assume its position as the best in the world. It had peerless athletes. The only question was whether it would crack the world record.

Yet as the final leg of the race approached, the unthinkable happened. The Americans dropped the baton. The crowd, electrified moments earlier, was left in stunned silence. The American team had arrogantly relied on its inherent speed and failed to sufficiently practice the handoff so crucial for completion of the race.

“Every Christian must see himself as the link to the next generation,” writes William Barclay. We need to practice the handoff. When all else fails, read the directions. It is not that Jesus’ way has been tried and found wanting; it has largely been talked about but not implemented. Return to small, reproducible, long-term relationships as the means of transmission of the gospel from one generation to the next.

Adapted from Transforming Discipleship (Inter-Varsity, 2003)

Prayer for the Week: Lord, help me become a disciple You can use to form and shape other disciples.