In the first two posts we talked about the idea of Disciple Making and what is not disciple making. In this post we will look at what is disciple making. To be honest, it is one simple concept. One idea we need to embrace and make it a lifestyle in our walk with Christ. One method all Christians can do if they will just do it. What is that concept, idea, or method? To pour one’s life into another. Paul said it best in 1 Thessalonians 2:8;
We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. (CSB) (bold is mine)
How do you do that? By spending time with the person you are discipling. When you look at the life of Jesus, he spent time with the men he chose to share his life with. They did life together. In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.” In my last post I described the scene of Mary Magdalene being distraught because she thought individuals had stolen the body of Jesus from the grave and she did not know what to do. When Jesus called her name, “Mary,” she immediately knew it was Him. Why? Because she had developed an intentional relationship with Jesus. She knew His voice.
We need to be intentional with the relationships we develop with the men that God bring into our lives. Learn to do life by enjoying a ball game together, hunting or fishing together, having lunch or any number of activities that allow you to spend time getting to know each other. When you do this you build trust that allows each other to open up and talk about struggles in life. Share your own experiences and how God work you through those experiences. Get to know your men. If we are to be imitators of Christ as Paul teaches (1 Corinthians 11:1), then as Jesus knew His men, we should know our men. Help them to know the ‘voice’ of Christ.
Practice the ministry of “Hanging Out” with your men. Discipling is all about being with men one-on-one, life on life. In any discipling relationship, including discipling among Christians, this means following a specific track that is reliable, personal, and has value and application.
To change a man’s character and behavior, we must first change the way he thinks. The process of transformation, in becoming an obedient follower of Jesus starts with our thoughts. Jesus said in Matthew 15:18; “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart.” And what comes from the heart is what a man thinks. What a man thinks becomes his value, his values determine his character, and he acts out his character through his behavior.
As one disciples another, it will help the man to see himself the way God sees him. It helps him to discover, or in some cases rediscover, his identity in Christ. When a man truly understands who he is in Christ, it changes his behavior. Discipling is about heart transformation, not behavior modification. And the only way this happens is by allowing God to work through you as we are called to “Go and make disciples” (Matt. 28:19) as one man pours his life into another man.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike