This series of blogs is designed to complement two sermon series: The More You’ve Never Seen Before and The Bucket Project. The purpose of these “discipleship” blogs is to give you the information you need about being discipled and being a discipler. Since these blogs are intended to be a resource, they’re a modified version of my teaching notes on this subject throughout the years.
What was Jesus’ strategy for meeting the needs of the people?
Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
What work had the Father given Him to do?
- Our first and most natural thought would be the Cross.
- Disciple 12 men!
- His ministry touched multitudes, but He discipled just 12 men.
- He gave His life on the cross for billions, but during the 3 ½ years of His earthly ministry, He gave His life uniquely to twelve men.
What are the first 5 of the Top 10 responsibilities of a discipler?
1. Disciplers manifest God’s name to their disciples.
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17:6)
2. Disciplers produce keepers of God’s Word.
“… and they have kept Your word.” (John 17:6)
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)
- The Word separates you from the world.
- God’s Word gives this relationship eternal significance.
- God’s Word allows growth to continue after the formal relationship is over.
3. Disciplers teach from personal experience.
“Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them…” (John 17:7-8)
But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. 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 2:7-8)
4. Disciplers pray for their disciples.
“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. (John 17:11)
- Praying for your disciple is your greatest act of love for them.
- Praying for your disciple gives you insight into his or her life.
- Praying for your disciple makes you dependent upon the Lord.
“I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word…” (John 17:20)
“… that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21)
5. Disciplers protect their disciples.
“While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
- How do you protect your disciples?
- You speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
- You warn them when you see bad habits.
- You warn them when you see danger lurking.
- You warn them when you see lies deceiving them.
- You warn them when you see bad influences.
- You warn them when you see complacency.
What are my next steps today?
- Get in a group.
- Subscribe to Love Works with Chris and Karin Conlee and listen to our seven podcasts on mentoring.
- Buy four copies of Priority Time and go through it together with three friends.
Come back next week to learn about the rest of the top 10 responsibilities of a discipler…