Having never really been discipled myself, learning how to disciple others has been one of my top 3 challenges in the first years of church planting. Forget “make disciples who make disciples”. I just need to make a disciple. How do I help people see that Jesus is calling them to look more like him in some concrete way?
IS DISCERNMENT REALLY THAT HARD?
I was astonished this morning. I was reading Stephen Covey’s book First Things First. He consistently asks people a bracing question:
What one thing could you do that would significantly improve the quality of your personal (or professional) life?
When he puts it this way, 99% of the time he gets a response that is immediate, concrete, actionable, time-bound, and in alignment with the person’s top priorities. People seem to just know what they’re really supposed to do.
Now, I still get funny feelings when people start sentences with “God told me…”. Maybe I’ll never entirely get over it. And maybe that’s not entirely a bad feeling.
But if Stephen Covey can ask secular people point blank what they ought to do, and he gets such immediate, concrete, actionable, time-bound, congruent responses… responses that crystalize people’s priorities and catalyze life change, why are we so agnostic about what God is calling us to do?
2 BRACING QUESTIONS
The best I’ve come across in my desperate search for discipleship tools are these 2 powerful questions:
- What is God saying to you?
- What are you going to do about it?
See what that does?
When you ask people those questions, it
- forces them to listen to the word of God
- forces them to discern the way the Bible applies to their life at present
- convicts them that the Spirit of God is speaking by the word of God to equip them for a present, concrete good work
- challenges them to take deliberate action
We’ve only begun to adopt these two questions into our discipleship language. But I’ve already been astonished at how it stirs in us the love and challenge of Jesus—how it motivates me and the people I’m discipling to press on in the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Thank you, Mike Breen, for conveying this dreadful simplicity.
What do you think? Do you have the guts to ask people point-blank what God is saying? Do you have the courage to ask them what they’re going to do about it? Is there a better way?
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