Discipleship Hacks

Discipleship can be defined as helping others grow closer to Christ, helping both people with the process of sanctification. When defined this way, it puts the pressure on the one doing the discipling to prepare. While all believers should be capable and prepared to disciple there are helps or hacks out there that can be useful. The goal here is to move at a pace that the person being discipled is comfortable at. Too fast and they may feel lost. Too slow and they may be bored. Here are some of my favorite hacks:

When reading and discussing Scripture, read less. This may sound like strange advice. Don't try to cover chapters at a time. It would be better and more beneficial to instead cover smaller sections. If reading narrative, just cover one story at a time. If you're reading an epistle, cover one thought at a time. This will give you the opportunity to discuss more in depth.

As you are reading Scripture, don't be afraid to use commentaries or study guides. Your goal isn't to appear to be the smartest person but to be the most helpful. More than likely, unless you have an unlimited time to prepare, you'll need the help. Remember, your goal is to help deepen faith not inflate your ego. Both commentaries and study guides keep you focused on that goal.

There will be times that it's appropriate to read good books. There's a balance between Scripture and a good book that brings variety to discipleship. There are great books out there that explain Scripture or a concept of faith in a way that is helpful. The goal here is to drill down in the book and find the main idea of each section or chapter (and here's where chapters may be helpful).

No matter what you decide to study, spend time talking about and discussing where each of you are struggling. This is an important part of discipleship. It's important because allows it for 2 things to happen simultaneously: it gives a voice to your struggles getting it out in the open to be dealt with, and gives those you're meeting with a chance to speak godly wisdom into those struggles. Both of these are discipleship necessities, because without them, we aren't doing what we are called to throughout the New Testament, the charge to "one another" each other. 

Sharing your struggles is necessary because it's displaying openness, honesty, vulnerability, and weakness; things we don't naturally like or want to share. We are much more comfortable making it appear we have it all together. The biggest problem with that is it's a lie. Another problem with this is if we don't share it, we probably won't grow past it. This leads to the other reason sharing is a necessity.

Sharing your struggles with others allows them to speak godly wisdom and counsel into your situation. None of us are smart enough on our own to truly see our sin and the way out of it. We need others speaking into our struggles so that we clearly see a way out. In humility we need to give others the opportunity to bless us with what God is blessing them with and be willing to do so for them as well.

A vital part of every meeting needs to be prayer. Praise God for who he is. Praise God for what he is doing in and through you all. Repent together. Pray for the struggles that have been shared. Pray for strength and power to overcome those struggles. Pray the Scripture that has been studied.

What you will find as you put these hacks into place is growth. Growth in godliness and love for those who are being discipled; the one doing the discipling and those who are being discipled. This growth and love should move those being discipled to disciple others and start the process all over again.

Pastoral Responsibilities

Jared Wilson on God's Glory