Recently I have found a discouraging trend in my life that is fairly easy to explain. I haven’t been sharing the Gospel as frequently or connecting with as many people who are far from God. I haven’t just been sitting around wasting time, but my connections with those needing to hear the good news about Jesus haven’t been a priority. What’s the explanation?
As I said above, it’s fairly simple: I haven’t been intentionally connected in a community encouraging one another in the disciple-making process. During the summer our regular group has been meeting infrequently and has been focused on connecting relationally in the times we have spent together. We have lost some of the focus and zeal for disciple making because of the inconsistency and busyness of summer. It’s time for a reboot!
Here are three things I have realized that I need from an intimately connected community of believers to spur on the disciple-making process:
- Reading and Processing God’s Word Though I am daily in the Word on my own, I need the time to study, share, and be challenged from the Bible in community. I need the insights and applications of others to help me hear more clearly what the Lord would say to me. As we study the Word in community, we learn to share what God is teaching us and we are challenged to share with those who are far from God.
- Prayer Making disciples can often be a discouraging process because we don’t always see the results we are longing for. We want to see people coming to know Jesus and growing in faith, but often we find they are unresponsive or apathetic. We need a community of believers around us that can pray for us and with us because we know the work of making disciples is ultimately God’s work.
- Encouragement and Accountability Because building relationships with people who are far from God and sharing the Gospel can be challenging and scary, I need people around me who are pushing me to make intentional choices to share the good news. I need people asking me questions about what I am proactively doing to engage with lost people, and I need a spur in my side from time to time when I can’t honestly say I am doing anything.
None of us should try to pursue intentional disciple making on our own. We all need others around us to spur us on in this difficult but worthy endeavor.
How are you intentionally engaged in making disciples together with others? How can you help your groups have a more focused disciple-making DNA?
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Each Thursday we send out our Training Resources Newsletter, which shares a new ministry tool and an encouraging story about God’s Spirit preparing someone for service.