The way we are discipled will correlate into how we disciple others… Who’s discipling you?
That is one of the most pertinent things that has ever been said to me. It was at a time when I had hit a roadblock in my ministry and was struggling personally. I had been working so hard taking others on their faith journey that I had not taken the time to invest in my own journey. The fact is, if you and I want to make an eternal impact on our own family and the people God has called us to disciple, it is imperative that each of us has someone who can invest in our faith journey. Or to put it another way:
Everyone needs a Paul in their lives as they look to invest in the Timothy’s in our lives.
It does not matter how old or experienced we are, we all need to look up to a ‘Paul’ in our lives who has the time to invest in us. I already have a few great guys who have invested in me, but if I am honest, my life and schedule has taken over recently. It’s time to create space and time in my schedule to make more time to be discipled.
As you look for people to disciple you, what should this look like? Here’s what I am looking for:
1. They are available and have the TIME: We live in a fast paced world. Some of the most Godly men and women are ineffective because of one foundational deficiency: They are simply too busy. For you and I, I would seek out those people who are good time managers or have more time on their hands. Some of the best people to disciple you are in their retirement years because they have more time and will MAKE time for you. I know it might be awkward asking an older guy or gal to meet with you at first, but you will be blessed if you do so… Who at your church or in your community is strong in their faith and has TIME?
2. They help me dig into God’s Word and prayer: Years ago when I lived in the UK, I met regularly with a guy called Chris who studied the Bible with me. I will never forget his passion, his knowledge, and the basic bible study skills he gave me. The way I personally study the bible and the way in which I help others study is because of Chris. What are you learning and what are you passing on? Who can you dive into God’s Word with? Who is praying for your each week?
3. They can speak into my family life: In a previous church, I sought out a guy who taught a number of the family and marriage classes. After a few coffees with him, I asked him to look out for me and gave him permission to check in with me about my family. To this day, even though we have both moved, ‘Bob’ has sought me out and checked in to see how we are all doing. We have had dinner with him and his wife many times and they have been a huge support to our family. We are learning from them in so many ways and are incredibly thankful for the Godly wisdom they provide. Despite the distance, Bob is someone who I trust to know what is best for my family.
4. Ask them to look for areas of weakness: I have always made it a point to seek out Godly leaders around me as a way to grow and glean from them. On the odd occasion, leaders like this will offer to help in some way where they see a need in my life. Years ago, a guy named Dan could see I was struggling as a young leader and offered to meet with me regularly so he could help me become more assertive and confident as a leader. I’ll be honest, at first it stung to hear that he could see I was lacking in a tender area of my life. Yet, after I gathered myself up off the floor from my crying, I agreed to meet with him. Dan was right about what he saw and I needed his advice… Who are are you letting in to speak truth into your life?
Sometimes the hardest thing to do as a leader is ask someone to look for areas of weakness and allow them in to help you…
Remember this key: The way I am being discipled with impact the way I am discipling others. It does not matter how old or wise I think I am, I am always going to need to have a ‘Paul’ in my life to disciple me, as I look to disciple the ‘Timothy’s’ in my life.
Who in your life is the ‘Paul’ for you? Who is helping you to grow as you invest in others?