Dr. Alan Avera
2 Corinthians 4:7
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to
God and not to us.”
I suspect many of us have scared ourselves into not making disciples, or we’ve built it
up into something that the Lord never intended it to be. Perhaps the best and simplest
definition of discipling I’ve heard is this: “helping another person to follow Jesus.” There
are a thousand different ways we could do that, of course, and I’ll make some
suggestions in a moment. But in the meantime:
1. Don’t wait till you have it all together
One of the biggest obstacles to making disciples is our own nagging feeling that we’d be
a hypocrite for even trying it. We’re a mess! How can we – with all our flaws and failings
and sin – presume to disciple someone else? But as I think back to the people who
discipled me best, they were the ones who were most honest about their own struggles.
They were humble, recognizing that both of us were equally in need of God’s grace.
2. Don’t wait till you have all the answers
You don’t have to be a brilliant teacher or theologian to be a discipler. Either have a
good Bible commentary on hand, or resolve between you to discover the answer before
you next meet.
3. Don’t wait till you have time
Most of us are busy. But some of the best opportunities for discipling conversations
come when we’re busy doing something else. I learned the value of this from a brother
in Washington DC. He’d invite younger men along with him as he ran essential errands
– collecting dry cleaning, picking up groceries, getting the car fixed, and so on. As he
did that, he was getting to know the person better, and asking questions. It’s a
seemingly mundane thing to do, but very often, because the focus is ostensibly on
something else, the conversation can really open up. And it doesn’t require you to set
aside additional time in your schedule. Don’t Wait.
So who could you disciple this week? As you read this, think of one person. Someone,
perhaps, who is slightly younger in the faith. It might be a friend, your spouse, a family
member, or someone from work or church.
Now, what could you do?
• Slowly read a book of the Bible together, and discuss it week by week, half a
chapter at a time. (Use something like Discipleship Explored if you’d like your
Bible study to be a little more “guided”.)
• Read a good Christian book together and discuss each chapter as you go.
• Have someone over for lunch with you and/or your family.
• Invite someone to bring their kids over for a play date.
• Invite someone out for coffee to talk about last Sunday’s sermon.
All that’s needed is genuine care for the person you’re meeting. Don’t wait. Who could
you help to follow Jesus this week?