Discipleship Simplified: Invite Someone Along
Hearing the phrase “Go, make disciples” is overwhelming and intimidating for many Christians. We all recognize that it shouldn’t be such an uncomfortable thing, but it is. When it comes to making disciples of Jesus Christ, however, I want to simplify what this phrase means. It doesn’t have to be a built-up, super-polished thing. I believe the heart behind making disciples should be this — simply follow Jesus and invite someone along with you in the journey.
Discipleship doesn’t have to be formal.
An important aspect of Christianity is living a life on mission. This may have different interpretations among Christians. Some think this means going overseas. Some think about volunteering. Others think about boldly sharing the undiluted gospel with their friends, family, or coworkers.
All of these are considered missional. These are all great. But it doesn’t have to be formal. What if discipleship was more about reclining with sinners than reasking people if you can disciple them?
When you think of the people you are discipling, do you envision a sit-down meeting a coffee shop? This is what I mean. I don’t want to downplay those types of meetings. Those are awesome if you have them! However, it doesn’t need to be that formal. Instead, what are you doing for God? And who can you invite along to join?
Are you following Christ, yourself?
Before I proceed, it’s crucial to get this on the table. Are you following Christ, yourself? Are you walking with him? Learning more? Is your obedience increasing? Pouring into someone’s life is kind of a bad idea if your life isn’t the kind you’re trying to reproduce. What would you say to someone whose life looked exactly like yours?
You see where I’m going with this? Inviting someone along the journey of walking with God absolutely requires that you walk in God’s statutes, yourself. You cannot disciple anyone well if you have not been discipled.
On the other side of the spectrum, some think to themselves, “I’m not really one to disciple anybody.” All Christians are called to disciple others! Let’s note—every Christian has a testimony and a calling. If you are walking with God, you have something to invite someone into.
Is there anyone you can invite along?
It’s encouraging to me when I talk with others about who they’re pouring into and discipling. Most of the time, the discipler is making plans to have a sit-down meeting at a coffee shop so they can ask to be their mentor/discipler. Again, I never discourage these meetings because they can be fruitful, although it can be simpler and less formal.
Inviting someone along can be as informal as taking a trip to the store together, riding in the car somewhere, or even shopping together (that one’s for you, ladies). Yes, usually things done “with God” are usually more Christian-like than these, but God is with us every second of the day. Every single activity you do could be a discipleship opportunity for someone else.
What I’m trying to say is that discipleship is much more about being around the people than it is having formal, polished meetings. Just be around the people. Invite others into your everyday happenings. You might even find that people won’t listen to your spiritual advice until they trust your earthly advice.
Don’t ask them. Just disciple them.
Rather than pumping up for a meeting to ask someone if you can disciple them, just disciple them. Don’t ask, just do it. Start hanging out with them and inviting them to join you in things. Build trust and a relationship with them. And teach them along the way.
What are you doing for God? And who can you invite alongside you? I believe this makes the phrase “Go, make disciples” less overwhelming and less intimidating. This helps me. This relieves the pressure of a one-time, one-shot opportunity to snag someone as your disciple. This offers a more genuine and realistic way to build discipleship relationships.
Ultimately, I hope this can encourage you as we strive to make disciples together. I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, or comments below!