What to Expect in Discipleship
What to Expect in Discipleship
“Next week I want you to come back and tell me about any secret sins you have.” I was 22 and had just met for the first time with an older woman with whom I was hoping to begin a discipleship relationship. I was a little taken aback by such a forward question—yet as I considered it that week, I could not get past the fact that my desire was to know and love and honor the Lord, and if that included answering this question, then I needed to get on board. I have written about why we need discipleship HERE, but now, what should you expect if you enter a discipleship relationship with one of our college staff?
1) Expect to receive a free coffee or meal
I won’t speak for all staff people, but I know the heart of each leader is to serve you—and one tangible way we can do that is providing for your physical needs. This is evident on a weekly basis, as senior staff people open their homes and cook meals for you.
2) Expect direct and purposeful conversations
In order to serve you well, a staff person might ask you questions about your finances and your calendar in order to help you set goals. They will likely ask about specific sins in your life and help you form a battle plan. You can expect a mentor to lead in transparency when it comes to these conversations.
3) Expect to join into a discipler’s everyday life
Most older people don’t have hours upon hours to devote to 1-on-1 individual time. For this reason, you can anticipate time spent with a discipler might be in a car, at the gym, on the soccer field or in their home. Our staff people desire to model godly living. Some of my most profound learning has occurred in the homes of godly people—it was through the sometimes uncomfortable moments of watching conflict break out, but then observing how it is resolved biblically, that my theology of peacemaking was shaped. Watching a mentor literally brought to her knees in crisis yet cry out to God for mercy—that is learning that doesn't come from a book.
4) Expect the Bible to be central
Christ is the ultimate model who should be emulated, not the mentor. It means your staff person may ask about your time in the Word—not to make you feel guilty, but to stir you up in your affections for Christ, because they know that only Christ has the words of life. And if you don’t know how to read or study your Bible, expect your discipler to teach you.
5) Expect to gain a friend and comrade
Although it may not feel like it at times, you must believe we are for you, not against you. Our desire is for you to overcome habitual sin. We want you to grow in your knowledge of God and your application of the Word. We will offer support, encouragement, wisdom and guidance through life, always pointing to the perfect Comforter we have found in Scripture.
6) Expect that it could be just for a season
Discipleship relationships are often short-term. Because there is no specific formula, the length of these relationships varies. Some variables include: one or the other person moves into a more demanding ministry role, a geographical move makes it difficult to maintain consistency, or the relationship reaches a point that it is no longer accomplishing its purpose.
Discipleship is biblical, l and these are just a few ways our college staff seeks to model Christ to others. It would be wise to consider approaching an older man or woman and inviting them into your life. If nothing else, you may at least end up with a free meal.