Below is my adaptation of a posting by Seth Barnes that I found very interesting.
This week I am giving you some “bite-size” portions to chew on and digest. At week’s end we will have covered the entire list. In between times evaluate your disciple experience and see where you may need to make changes. Evaluate how you are discipling others. Any changes that need to take place?
10 Fail Proof ways to disciple like you mean it / Seth Barnes / ChurchLeaders.com
4. Deep Connection: Disciple making works best in a group. Most learning is enhanced by being in a group. The small group setting is good and should be a part of the process.
However, Second Timothy 2:2 says, “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.” Second Timothy 3:16-4:2 describes how to do that.
Jesus worked with, lived with and taught the twelve. Yet there is evidence that He also had a special and deeper relationship with Peter, James and John. There was a deeper and more intense focus with these three.
5. Authentic Community: I don’t think I can improve on how this is described by Seth Barnes. Here are his words:
How is it that I could grow up in such a caring little country church and still feel a profound loneliness? Something inside me longed to be known at a deeper level. But how? Where could I go to find that?
I harbored insecurities that I couldn’t let others touch—places so tender that I didn’t dare talk about them. Bible studies were OK, but looking back on my high school years, I was depressed and had nowhere to go for a debrief.
In graduate school, I had my first experience with an authentic community. Four couples met regularly and did life together. It was a rich, liberating experience.
One of the great discoveries we’ve made in building the World Race is that you can go through all kinds of hardship if you’ve got a team going through it with you that believes in you. We implemented a system of honest feedback so that racers get the encouragement and challenge they need to move on to new places and new levels of growth.
The abundant life Jesus promises requires that we pour out. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us to meet together regularly so that we have a place where others will pour into us. We can’t go where God wants to lead us without the authentic community of his body.
6. Intergenerational: Our society is ravaged by “absentee dads”. There is little connection between generations. Biblical narrative paints a far different picture.
Patriarchal influence and intergenerational connection. In Timothy Paul encourages the older saints to have an impact on the lives the the younger disciples.
One of the joys I find in working in a big box retail store is the constant contact with those at least half my age (or sometimes almost a third). They are challenging. They are fresh and excited. They are immature. They are ready to learn. They have an almost sickening confidence. They are young. I can have an impact on their lives when I take time to build a relationship.
Looking back I can see the impact many older saints had on my life as they took time to pour their influence into the budding disciple of years ago.
Did you notice anything in this portion of the list? It’s all about relationships. Isolation as a disciple is not an option.