God uses the hard realities of life to expose our deepest fears and internal struggles. These experiences make us more self-aware so we can cultivate the spiritual disciplines necessary to lead ourselves and others well. Consider what happened to Moses, the humblest person on earth (Num. 12:3). After the people complained about their misfortunes yet again in the wilderness, Moses was miserable. He cried out to the Lord: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised? … If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11–12, 15).
Who would have thought that the humblest man in the world could fall so deep into despair? Have you ever found yourself in such a state of weariness? There are many days in my life when I find myself praying: “God, please don’t let me become weary in doing good, for I know that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up. Help me to press on and do good to all people, especially to those who belong to your family” (see Gal. 6:9–10). This prayer is particularly helpful when I’m going through a wilderness experience or dealing with difficult people. Prayer disciplines us to humble ourselves before God, and it also provides revelation for how to move forward.
Recently, I completed a Part 5 Bible study series with the kind folks at the Discover the Wordbroadcast. We went through the gospels to discuss God’s purpose and plan for intentional discipleship. These recordings are now available and would be a great option for a personal devotional this summer, or to engage a small Bible study group.
Below you will find the series breakdown and highlights:
Part 1 How do we live out Jesus’s Great Commission?
Mentoring as intentional discipleship is for God’s kingdom purposes. Why is discipleship and the use of the mentoring language important?
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20
Part 2 Is there a difference between Christ-followers and the lost?
Evangelism without discipleship is incomplete; they are two sides of the same coin. Is our current way of thinking about evangelism and discipleship in the right order?
Scripture: John 1:35-51
Part 3 Discipleship: A Matter of both Knowing and Doing
Discipleship requires that we look outside of our own needs to see the spiritual and physical needs of others.
Scripture: John 6:1-14
Part 4 Our Walk of Faith Requires Training
Love God and love people is the basic principle of discipleship. We can learn how to love well, and we can teach others how to love us well. There is a cost involved.
Scripture: Luke 10:25-28
Part 5Mentor for Life (16:00 min)
The 5th Law of the Navy – “On the strength of one link in the cable, dependth the might of the chain, who knows when thou mayest be tested? So live that thou bearest the strain!”
The training of making disciples prepares us for the mission, and the training also prepares us for the test.
Scripture: John 4:31-38
Conclusion: Intentional discipleship or mentorship is an invitation to LINK Up with God in the kingdom work he is already doing in the world.
I just returned home from spending the majority of last week in Alexandria, Virginia where I participated in the Missio Alliance “Awakenings” conference. I will be writing several follow-up articles over the next couple weeks, and can’t wait to tell you more about it.
In the meantime, I am resuming our Mentoring series.
Among Christian evangelical circles, there is a lot of dialog about women, leadership and discipleship right. I am so glad that I not only have the opportunity to participate in these conversations, but more importantly that I have something tangible to offer when people ask, “What can we do about women who lack confidence in their ability to lead in the church?”