No Shortcut To Discipleship
Most people know the importance of discipleship. So we are out there to look for a quick solution and antidote to the issues we are facing in church. We hope to setup certain programs, follow some patterns and start some classes. But why they work for some churches but not for some others? Day in day out, for weeks and months, or even years, things still remain the same.
What we didn’t realize usually are the things that happen behind the scenes. We may mimic the hardware but we didn’t have the software. The truth is that there’s no shortcut to discipleship. It is not just something achieve by programs, courses or classes. Besides these programs, courses and classes, the people spend time discipling one another. The leaders have to be particularly active in this. They spend their time to mentor, coach and disciple the next few generations of leadership. It is in the interacting that iron sharpens iron.
There are three important types of discipleship to exercise. Firstly, directive discipleship. The discipler must lead the way and give the disciple a direction or a path to take. He must help the disciple to make sound and wise decision when the disciple make the wrong choices. However, this does not mean we can lord it over our disciples. It just mean exercising leadership in discipleship.
Secondly, there is supportive discipleship. Here our role is to encourage the disciples. Our role is to help them see beyond the impossibilities. They can live out a greater potential God has bless them with.
Thirdly, there are times where we need corrective discipleship as well. We need to correct certain wrong attitudes or mindsets, bad habits or addictions and other outward behaviours.
These three types of discipleship are exercised to disciple different aspects of a disciple. There are a few that I would like to highlight here. Firstly, attitudes. Here we are dealing with the right worldviews and mindset. A disciple must learn to think correctly. Secondly, attributes. Here we are talking about discipling for the attributes of God. A disciple must have the characteristics of God. Thirdly, aptitude. Here we need to help the disciple to acquire different ministry skills to serve God. A disciple must be able to serve God well.
To achieve all these, we will need a clear purpose in our church. When the purpose is clear, we can then work out a plan suitable for us. Next, you need people. Know who can be disciplers and who should be discipled. After this, what they need is the process of discipling. This is best achieve in a personal discipling process. However, it is also the most time consuming. We take time to sharpen iron. Only gradually, we can see the products.
Are we ready to invest in discipleship? It is certainly worthwhile though sometimes can be heartbreaking. Remember, don’t just work on the hardware like programs, we need the software like you and me to spend time together.