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Disciple-making with “Es”

Anyone who is serious about making disciples knows that it is anything but easy.  We do not become or make disciples with ease; however, with consistency, we can make disciples with ”Es,” such as explanation, example, experience, encouragement and evaluation.
Explanation necessitates providing information which includes “why” and “how.”
  • Why would you say discipleship is crucial?  What is the attitude of your students about becoming mature disciples for Christ?  Are most of them committed to personal spiritual growth that manifests itself in loving God intensely and loving others as themselves (i.e. “the great Commandment”)?  Would you agree that Jesus left his disciples with the “great commission” to make disciples who were taught to do everything which he commanded?
  • How are you going to provide training in discipleship which incorporates the blending of evangelism with on-going process of growing and maturing in the Christian faith?  How can you provide training so that your students can effectively communicate the Gospel?  Will you include a presentation of the Gospel at your major meeting this fall?  How can you incorporate training into your conferences with students and meetings with leaders?  Note on-line resources which can help and direct your student to these. This website can be used in several ways.
Also, check out the resources at http://www.utabsm.com/resources

Example is essential!  While most BSM staff do not have the gift of evangelism and many are not gregarious people, each can “model the role” of being on campus and building relationships with those we meet, allowing the Spirit to sensitize us to opportunities to share with others.  And since most elements of discipleship are “caught not taught,” students will more likely participate in the activities which are priorities for their leader.  And you may be fortunate enough to work with students who are gifted in evangelism and relationship building.  These will provide examples for students gifted in other areas.  Remember Jesus initially sent his disciples two by two, providing support and accountability.

Experience
How does someone become proficient in doing things which are not natural to them?  If you wanted to learn a new skill such as playing golf, driving a car, playing a musical instrument, or working with a computer program, would you depend primarily on an instructor or book?  More likely, you would start with some instruction/information and then begin to experiment and practice.  No one would expect to become proficient at parallel parking by simple reading a driver’s manual.  However, when motivation is strong (Can you remember when you really wanted a driver’s license?), you are willing to practice and learn that which initially is difficult to do.  There is no discipleship without discipline.  Gaining proficiency at becoming a good listener, building healthy relationships, and communicating in ways that convey truth while showing respect are skills which can be developed through effort and experience.

Evaluation includes both personal reflection and accountability.  Often, one of the most neglected disciplines of the Christian life is reflecting on what we are doing and how we need to change.  Busy schedules keep us in the routines which have not produced the results we desire.  Will you make space to reflect on these questions for 15 minutes and make notes which record your insights?
  • What are the most important things I am doing to build disciples?
  • How will I find three or four students in whom I will invest time on a weekly basis?
  • How can I best support students with example, evaluation and encouragement?
  • What do I want my students to learn?  What role will I play in the process? Who else can help?
  • What is one thing I can do to simplify and refocus on the essentials?
Encouragement is the spiritual oxygen of the soul and an essential ingredient in discipleship.  How do you “celebrate” the small victories in your ministry and personal life?  Do you believe that progress is a better measuring stick than perfection?  Do you have someone who can help you personally with the proper combination of candid evaluation and sincere encouragement?  Who might provide this type of support?

In what ways can you affirm students you work with, knowing that they are often discouraged by personal failure and inconsistencies?  Who needs to be reminded of Scriptural truth found in Gal. 6:9-10?  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Thanks for what you do to make disciples.
A Special Invitation for you
Join “A Call for Leadership”- a monthly conference call for volunteer and part-time BSM staff which will discuss a podcast or article on Leadership Development.  From a variety of podcasts, one will be recommended so that you can listen to it and consider how the information relates to your ministry.  Sometimes there will be a study guide provided with the podcast (This is true of the Craig Groeschel podcasts which will be discussed in the conference calls of Sept. and Oct.). Here is what you need to do to take part in the conference call on Sept. 20:
  1. Go to the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast  http://www.life.church/leadershippodcast/    Subscribe by typing in your email and listen to Episode 12 – “Leading Up” Part 1, Sept. 1, 2016
  2. As you reflect on how “Leading Up” applies to your situation, think of your associational Director of Missions or local pastors as individuals you may be able to influence and encourage.
  3. On Tues. afternoon, Sept. 20 , you can join the conference call by dialing 214-828-5240 (or 1-800-598-5974 if needed) and then entering the participant code of 2315765 followed by the # sign.
In addition to the discussion of the podcast, those participating in the conference call will share about the success and challenges they are facing so that the participants can pray for each other.

Hope you can join us for the conference call on Sept. 20 at 2:00 pm
Rick Spencer
Regional Consultant for BSM
The BSM Staff Website is full of resource ideas, Bible Studies, up-coming events, and other material.
If I can be of help, please feel free to contact me at 512-497-3240 or drrickspencer@sbcglobal.net.
Past editions of KeySources can be found at www.texasbsmstaff.org/keysources
Copyright © 2016 Texas BSM, All rights reserved.


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