Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Discipleship, part 2
In episode 7, we talked about what is discipleship is and its desired outcome. Why is the desired outcome important? It is like building a home. If you show people the end result, they are more willing to sacrifice, save, and work hard. This is a life lesson. Often when we are calling people to serve and do things, we aren’t as clear as we need to be about the desired outcome. That needs to be articulated in a way that is consistent with the vision, the DNA, the flow, the culture of your church. (Side Note: The discipleship process is where you really get a chance to build culture.) We are trying to produce healthy lives. We are trying to produce people who are growing—spirit, soul, and body. This is important so that when they reproduce, they have healthy offspring.
The heart of discipleship has to be the word “discipline,” for that is where the word “discipleship” comes from. When we talk about discipling someone, we are talking about teaching them the disciplines of the Christian faith. The process has to have discipline—curriculum, guidelines, accountability, homework, on-the-field training. Those things all breed discipline.
Critical Discipleship Disciplines
Prayer—Teach them to pray. Be someone that they pray with. Show them how to pray. They need to see you pray.
Study—Not just reading the Bible, but learning to meditate on it and study it. Some of the greatest times I’ve had with guys is when I took a verse and modeled how I would dig into the Word. It will give them a desire to read. We had a saying, “If you don’t read, you can’t lead.” This also includes reading other books (even if it’s just certain chapters). You are teaching them to study and then communicate what they are learning.
Serving—Everyone you are discipling should be involved in serving somewhere in the church. There is no point in starting a discipleship process with someone if they aren’t plugged in and serving. It goes beyond just being available to help, but having a responsibility in an area. A responsibility where their act of service can be measured, graded, appraised, and there is upward mobility. They also need to understand the significance of what they are doing; many don’t understand or appreciate the critical nature of the things they are doing. In the classroom setting of discipleship, everyone should know where each other is serving. It creates a bond, a relationship with each other as they see how everyone is doing their part. The team knows what the rest of the team is doing.
Giving—Giving is a discipline. The giving of our time, our talent, and our treasure. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul asks them to set money aside ahead of time so that it is there when they need it. There is spontaneity in giving, but there is also purpose and discipline. The tithe is critical. The 10% opens the door to what to do with the 90%. If you can’t get someone to be a disciplined giver, you are going to have a very difficult time getting them to be a real disciple.
Sharing your faith—Part of this discipleship process should be asking who they are sharing their faith with and who they are reaching out to. Ask them who they are praying with. Team them up two-by-two and send them out evangelizing. I have seen this yield some amazing, miraculous encounters with people getting born again! This will light a charge into your discipleship group. Model this, too. Don’t just send them out, but go with them.
Fasting—Have them pick a day and fast. Then have them come back to you and tell you what the Lord revealed to them. Ask them what was hard about it and what was easy.
In this process, there should be an understanding that discipleship is predicated on discipline. This should be clearly communicated to those you are discipling. Tell them that you are looking for it. Tell them that you are looking for punctuality. Tell them that they cannot be a disciple if they can’t manage their money. Tell them that they can’t be a disciple if they can’t keep their word. Communicate that just doing these things doesn’t make you a disciple, but that these disciplines are a critical part of the whole package.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!