The discipler is the mentoring type which the majority of us are probably the most familiar. The definition of discipleship I like best is a simple one: leading someone to Christ and teaching them to obey God’s Word. (Matthew 28:18-20) What comes to mind is an individual who helps a believer grow in the basics of a disciple’s life…showing her how to pray, have a quiet time, study the Bible, share the faith, being filled with the Holy Spirit, holiness, etc. One amazing fact is how many believers miss this part of their walk and therefore spend years with stunted growth floundering in their faith. When a Christian is not grounded it is too easy to fall away from the faith. I wonder if this is one reason for dysfunctional homes and that 50% of all Christian marriages end in divorce?
There are many books that have been written on the biblical basis of discipleship. The classic that I like best is “Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman. I love this book. My husband still laughs about the fact that when I was single and guys would ask me out on a date, I would respond by asking they had read this book. Todd had actually read the book twice so we had a lot to talk about. Another great book on discipleship is “The Complete Book of Discipleship” by Bill Hull.
I’m excited that people in their mid-thirties and forties who have been church members for years are asking for discipling—even full time Christian workers who never received that personal one-on-one help in their earlier years. When meeting with church staff and church leaders I used to expect that they wanted mentoring in leadership development first. Often they request help with basic discipleship. They understand that this foundation is a prerequisite for being the leader God wants them to be.
What about you? Have you been discipled? If so, who are you investing in so that you can multiply your leadership?