Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What does discipling look like?

Lately there has been a lot of talk about discipling and what it should look like.
I am here to tell you that if you're looking for answers from me then your on the wrong blog.
You see discipling can look different and be different between each believer. God doesn't have a one size fits all way of discipling another. That is something unique. Given to each believer as he or she has need. Each of us has been given certain gifts in order to serve the body. We are all different parts of the body.
In how the Lord has worked through me all I can say is I don't see all the people I had the chance to minister to that often anymore. If not at all.
I want to present how the Lord used me in my walk.
Back in 1997 when I owned a Fitness Center in Texas the Lord brought in a new believer. He was just starting college and wanting to exercise. So he joined me in exercising everyday. We worked out for bodybuilding and strength training sessions. During those times I just kept encouraging him to lift more weight and showed him the right way to workout.
We both helped each other as he spotted for me when I was lifting and I would do the same. We shared the burden of helping one another. Also during the many months I worked out with him I
would share with him what I was learning about the Lord. We both went to different churches. I didn't try to talk him into coming to where I was going. I just talked with him about Jesus and His work.
After about 6 months or so this young man just stopped coming in the gym. He never came to let me know he was going to quit. Then one day I saw his truck at my competitions place. Anyway I just learned to let it go as I knew there was nothing I did.
In 2000 I sold the gym. When I did that I stopped working out. Then in 2001 I went back to the gym and started working out with a young man I was working with. One morning around 5 A.M. when we walked into the gym, there was the young man who years earlier I helped out. I didn't say anything and just went to workout. Then the young man came to me and spoke.
The words that he said was, " Steve how is going?, I just want to let you know how much I appreciated you taking the time to talk with me about the Lord. I've been wanting to tell you that I remember everything you told me and that I never forgot it. It helped grow so much. Thank you!"
Man that floored me. In a good way. I haven't seen this young man in years and always wondered what had happened and then the Lord brought him back into my life long enough to let me know that all was well.
What did I do during those times spent with him? Discipleship 101! No, books, no curriculim just talking about Christ.
Now another story will continue with the other young man I was working with and going to the gym with. He was not a believer. Yet he still listened to every word I spoke to him about Jesus.
I told him about the Lord inside and out. Yet he never became a convert. Because God wasn't ready for him. Years later after I had quit my job I seen him at where I used to live. He had since divorced his wife and was living with an ex-coworker of ours. So what happened during the time I worked with him? Discipleship by planting a word. Though I may never know if that word took, I still had the opportunity to present the gospel to him everyday we worked out together. He listened and never got mad.
There were countless other believers and non believers who lived in our neighborhood who would just come by our house for prayer and to talk. Because they knew about our walk with Christ. I have since found some of whom are now believers.
What happened during those times? Discipleship 101.
As recently as last year I had the opportunity to minister to a family at the local mobile home park. We would meet at their home every Thursday. Sometimes they would be drunk. They would be smoking cigarettes and cussing. Yet I didn't let that deter me. We held bible studies in the home. In November they moved. They moved over two hours away. Yet they still call me and when they are in town they come by my house to visit. What happened during my time of being with them? Discipleship 101.
Also in August of last year there was a gentleman who came to the mobile home park. He was trying to get away from the drug scene. In time he found an apartment. I and some others were able to help get him furnishings for his home. I and one other would go to his place on Thursdays and present the word. A few months ago he went back into the life he left and we have lost contact with him. But again what happened during the time we did spend with him? Discipleship 101.
Where I am going with this is though we may never see the fruit, in the end God will get the glory. You may have someone in your life for along time or it may be for a short time.
So discipling may be long term or it may be short term. It may be by serving, praying or teaching.
It takes on different forms for each task. The point is as long as Jesus is being proclaimed while you are with whomever it may be you are discipling.
My friend over at has a wonderful ministry continuing at the mobile home park I mentioned above. He is discipling while evangelizing.
Checkout his wife's blog to see some of the things going on.
Again in that type of atmosphere you may only have as little as one day to make an impact in someones life.
The idea is to take advantage of what the Lord is giving. He may have you ministering for along time to many or one. Or He may take them out of your life quickly.
The fruit will produce if the seed is planted.
You may never see the produce of your discipling. Then again the Lord may give you an opportunity to see the fruit later. The key is to not lose heart and do not get stuck thinking there is only one way to disciple people.
They will know if you show the love of the Father to them!

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