Discipleship is following after the One who knows it all,
then leading others to the One who paid it all.
This week Redeemed Girl launched a new podcast, Leave. Learn. Love: The Call to Follow Jesus. In this teaching, Marian looks at the life of Peter and key characteristics of a disciple. At RGM we believe disciples make disciples. We like to say we believe redeemed girls will lead others to their Redeemer. My role as RGM’s Discipleship Director is to meet with young women who desire to do just that… lead others to Jesus. Therefore, I often get asked the question: What is effective discipleship?
It may surprise you that the answer isn’t that complicated. My college pastor taught us that as Jesus’ disciples, our responsibility is to do two things: 1) point the way and 2) help clear the path.
Concerning discipleship, he writes: “There’s ultimately nothing any of us can do to force people to grow in Christ. Nothing. So whether we offer a 26-option discipleship program or a four-option one really doesn’t matter. If someone really doesn’t want to grow, they’re either going to say no four times or twenty-six.” – Steven Furtick
The lesson here is that effective discipleship needs to be simple. We need to pray for godly people who will invest in us and point the way. These are the people who confront us when we are tempted, comfort us when we are lonely and correct us when we are wrong.
During my sophomore year in college, I went through a really hard break-up. The relationship I was in was far from what God would have wanted for me as I sought to find fulfillment and identity through the guy and not from the Lord. After we broke up, my desire to deepen my relationship with Jesus grew. I was hungry for truth. It was during this season that I met the woman who would model for me what it truly meant to be a follower of Christ.
She pointed me to the truth in God’s word, causing my “hunger pains” to only intensify as I began soaking in His truth and finding Him to be The Bread of Life. She became my prayer warrior and accountability partner. She pointed me closer to Jesus and helped to clear the path by giving me books and scripture to deepen my knowledge of God and love for Him. Her guidance equipped me to live the life God designed for me to live.
Reflecting on her influence in my life helps me further answer the question…What is effective discipleship?
3 Practical things you can do to point the way:
First: Be loving. Jesus’ love should compel us not constrain us. Who better to model our lives after than the One who gave love sacrificially and offers it abundantly? The love of Jesus should be the most practical thing we reflect to those who do not know Him. We can love others by our actions, with ourwords and in our sensitivity towards them. If you see a sorority sister, friend, or co-worker’s need and you can meet it – go for it! Live with your head up and your eyes open. Love softens hearts and points the way for the Gospel to be heard.
Second: Be prayerful. Be in prayer at all times: In the car; in line at Starbucks getting your Pumpkin Spice Latte; in the office; in class; over lunch. Why not simply ask, “Can I pray for you about something? or Can we pray now?” The “now” part is for sure going to be a shocker, at least it was for me. My dearest friend in college became the first person in my life who instead of offering to keep me in her prayers, offered to pray for me in the moment. She pointed the way to Jesus through prayer.
Third: Live intentionally. In her book, Radiant, Marian describes a radiant woman as “one who lives intentionally by setting her priorities according to her purpose to reflect the radiance of Jesus.” We all know how this works. If we desire to do well on a test, then we go to class and we intentionally study. If we desire godly friendships then we are intentional about staying in touch with our friends and prioritizing our time with them. The same is true about a disciple of Jesus. We deliberately choose to live in such a way that every day, every moment, every hour counts for Christ. We intentionally seek Him and intentionally set our priorities.
Practical ways to help clear the path:
At Redeemed Girl Ministries we provide books, teaching podcasts, blogs and an annual discipleship retreat (Redeemed Girl Institute) to help women grow in their walk with Christ. In short, we point the way to Jesus and walk out the vision of our ministry: To see women redeemed by the grace of Jesus, transformed by His truth, and who live for the glory of His Name.
All of these resources are available to you so that you can help clear the path for a friend or sister. Visit our website to view our Bible study podcasts, blogs, and tools to help you start your own small group or book club.
For more on The Call to Follow Jesus, listen here to Marian’s latest Podcast : Leave. Learn. Love.
Rebecca Harper, Discipleship Director