That’s the first discipleship question (of many, by the way) that I asked God in prayer upon knowing that He had called me to a ministry of “1 on 1” Discipleship on June 2nd, 1998.
Well, it’s been many years since that question. You see I had never been discipled or tried to disciple anyone else. I would not have been able to give a decent definition of the word, disciple, in the moment of the call.
The truth is that we are all called to “disciple” others. That’s what Jesus left us here to do. It was the last thing He said to his guys prior to his ascension.
In August of ’98, my buddy Tim who was a vendor to the company I was working for asked me to lunch. He began to share some struggles he was having in his marriage. I could relate to some of the things he was saying and shared some scripture with him that had helped me in my marriage.
16. Rejoice always; 17. pray without ceasing; 18. in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]
He looked at me and asked, “Could we get together weekly and you share more stuff like that with me?” My response was, “What stuff?”
He explained that he struggled with how to relate to God. He thought that I had a better handle on that and that he had lots of questions that he needed answered. He said, “I don’t want to ask these questions at church…in fact, I don’t know who I’d even ask at church.”
How many of us can relate to that? As I was simply talking with my friend over lunch and he shared with me his struggles turning to someone at church to help him relate to God, a light bulb went on for me. All I did at that lunch was listen to a man pour out his heart, then I gave him truth…not my opinion or even my “take” on that truth. I gave him truth – sharing the wisdom of God with another man.
Through Tim, God answered my burning question at the time, “Discipleship – what’s that?” So, the method of discipleship that God was to have me use was and is simply…“LISTENING & POINTING” Listening to a man and pointing him back toward the wisdom of God.
Hundreds of men later and thousands of “1 on 1” encounters, I can honestly say that it works. Truth transforms us.