No one accidentally creates disciples. Discipleship is an intentional pursuit. – Mike Breen
Discipleship is an intentional journey toward maturity in the Christian faith. If we claim to be followers of Jesus than our lives need to reflect that we are his followers. That kind of lifestyle does not happen by accident. It means that there are choices that we have to make about how we live our lives if we want our faith to grow. Here are some suggestions that I believe will have an impact on your discipleship journey.
Find A Faith Mentor: We need someone in our life who is wiser than we are. Find a person or a small group that will allow you to sit under someone who has been living the faith longer than you, that will intentionally invest in your life, and who isn’t afraid to ask you difficult questions that will challenge you. We see this kind of relationship between Paul and Timothy. Paul refers to himself as Timothy’s spiritual father. Paul invested in Timothy and Timothy went on to serve others (Read 1 and 2 Timothy). This kind of relationship is vital to your faith.
Be A Faith Mentor: In all my years of ministry, this has been the most difficult thing to convince people to do. They recognize the need to have a faith mentor, but few people believe they can do this for someone else. They feel like they don’t know enough or will mess it up. The truth is, you really don’t know enough. You never will. You will mess up. It will happen frequently. Get over it. You have a great deal to offer others despite your flaws. I promise you, if you ask someone who has been a faith mentor for decades, they will tell you they messed up and they will tell you there are lots of things they don’t know. Get over your fear, be courageous, trust that God will work, and find someone who needs you to be a mentor.
Be Hospitable: Hospitality is a lost art. We tend not to open our homes to others. Our culture struggles with feeling isolated even when we have so many opportunities to feel connected with people. We barely know our neighbors and we barely know the people we share our pews with. People all around us feel isolated, alone, and afraid. They are anxious. People want nothing more than to be truly known and accepted for who they are. We need to open our homes and our lives to others. We should throw the best parties and invite others to come and be apart of the community. We live in a world that shies away from face to face interaction when that is what we all desperately need and what the body of Christ can provide.
Create Space For God: We are busy. That is unlikely to change for most of us. I’d argue that we are addicted to our busyness. Unfortunately, that means we don’t always leave space for God in our lives. We need to be intentional about creating the space for Bible reading, for prayer, for service, and for worship. These are vital parts of our spiritual development but they often take a back seat to other things. If you aren’t seeing your faith grow, chances are this is where things are going wrong. If you aren’t spending time with God, then the relationship will struggle and our faith will stagnate, or worse, begin to wither and die. We need to create that space with God every day. If we aren’t intentional about it, we will skip it. Do what you have to do to make it happen. Prioritise it. Write into your schedule if you must.
Questions for reflection;
- Are you intentionally creating space in your life to nurture your relationship with God?
- Are you opening your life and home to others?
- Have you found someone to help mentor you in the faith? Why or Why not?
- Have you found someone to mentor? Why or why not?