Have you ever longed to be in a great discipleship relationship, where you get to mentor someone and watch them grow into a fully devoted follower of Jesus? Are you in one of those relationships now? If you don’t think you are, let me encourage you to go back home and take a peak in your extra bedrooms at the little people who eat all of your food. You’ve got your disciples. Now, how are you going to disciple them?
Jesus modeled a very clear, understandable way to make and train disciples. It works in churches, and in my opinion might work even better in the home, because we eat, labor, and live with those in our home.
On this week’s Podcast, two of my good friends and student ministry veterans help explain a concept called 4 Chair Discipling, which was first elaborated by Dann Spader (You should really buy this book and read it). Curtis Burnham of Reign Ministries and Crisman Koechig from Coastal life church have been trained and now train others in this surprisingly simple pattern that we see lived out in His life with the disciples:
- Come and see: We spend time with someone lost or seeking.
- Follow me: A new believer makes a commitment to follow Jesus.
- Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men: a believer is a worker in the field, working alongside someone who knows what they are doing.
- Go and Bear Fruit: a worker is now mature, working on their own, making their own disciples.
You see this in the life of Christ. He spends time with Andrew and Phillip, John and Nathaniel. They need to get to know Him, and he takes the time to do that. As they begin to be drawn by Jesus, he invites them to follow him as disciples. Soon after, Jesus brings them along on ministry trips as fishers of men, workers in the field. As they learn and grow, Jesus then gives them responsibility and authority to go out on their own and make disciples.
This process took three and a half years for the Son of God when he was walking and living with the disciples day in and day out. The fact that it took Jesus this much time encourages me that 1) this isn’t something that happens quickly and 2) it will happen best with those we spend the most time with.
For instance, our children.
So how can we do this at home?
- Walk as Jesus walked – Model for our kids what it looks like to be dependent on the Holy Spirit. Do they see you reading your Bible? Do they see you praying? Do they see you serving, giving, showing hospitality? Do you show grace and forgiveness? Do they see your humanity and vulnerability?
- Invite them in to a walk with Christ – More than just asking them to trust Jesus for their life, invite them in to join you in your walk. Do some of your studies with them. Pray with them. Help them discover their faith. Embrace the awkwardness!
- Challenge them to take pieces of the process – Let them take turns leading in prayer, brining a devotion, make a meal for someone in need. Coach them through forgiveness and reconciliation with their friends. Pray for your friends and neighbors and their friends and neighbors together! Make your home a hub for ministry together.
- Release responsibility and authority – Even if they’re not going to do something as well as you, let them lead. As is age appropriate, let them take as much responsibility and authority as you can, and then celebrate the wins.
Speaking of celebrating the wins, in parenting and discipleship we need to remember that THE PROCESS IS THE WIN! We might never get to spend time basking in the finished product. So we need to soak up the process. The joy is in the journey.
I’ve done my best to overview our conversation, but you really should listen to our discussion and read the book! It’s very much worth your time. You can do this!