2. Discipleship always takes place in the context of relationship.
You know why the above scenario worked? Because I wasn’t just a project, I was a person. The person who discipled me didn’t invite me into her life so she could “save” me, she invited me into her life so she could know me.
How does discipleship work? God’s heart is always for covenantal relationship. He isn’t just trying trying to get something done through us, He wants to be with us.
I wasn’t a task for her, I was a friend. It was a relationship. It wasn’t about accomplishing or achieving, it was about living and being.
Life is always better together. It’s remarkable to think that Jesus didn’t change the world all by himself. Instead he found a group of men and women to join him on his mission, and he discipled them into it along the way.
Some of our greatest opportunities for discipleship are with the people living in our homes and working in our workspaces. People we encounter every single day who could benefit from a relationship.
‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!’ (Matt 12:48-50).
3. The best thing we have to offer is the life we live.
One of our axioms for discipleship is that God is so real, he only meets us where we “really are.”
If this is true, the best thing you have to offer those around you is the authenticity of simply being you. The good you and the struggling you.
Think about some of the times in your life when you have learned the most. These sacred times are often times of struggle and failure. They are times we’ve had to seek out help, push trough trials, and overcome great temptation. They are times of rawness and realness, where we cried out to God and wrestled through His answers.
These moments are what discipleship is made of. Real life. We are often too quick to sit down and prescribe a workbook, a teaching series or a blog post. And even though I’ve written all those things, and I support the effort they make to advance people in their spiritual formation, information alone is never enough.
The best thing we have to offer people is our lives. Our actual lives.
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matt 11:28-30).
Jesus could have “fixed” his disciples in an instant, but he didn’t. Instead, he spent his time walking and talking with them, teaching them as they went. They watched and then they implemented and it changed the future of the church.
In the end, when we refuse to buy into the lie of being too busy and submit to the call of making disciples, we are often the ones who walk away blessed. Because that’s the gospel: “It is always more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35).
Discipleship benefits both the giver and the receiver because Jesus is in it and when he is present, we all walk away blessed. Jesus put discipleship on the table and said, “This is how we will change the world.”
That’s something we don’t have time not to participate in, no matter how busy we are!
This article about how does discipleship work originally appeared here.