There has been a lot of talk about different characteristics of generations in our culture. A quick internet search will bring up article after article highlighting the qualities of each one and how to engage them. Even Christians are doing their research and suggesting options for how to reach out to our young people. I’ve found, however, that no matter which generation or culture one identifies with, the principles of discipleship that Jesus used over 2000 years ago still are relevant, effective, and needful today.
I am starting a new series on different aspects of discipleship I've learned from the example of Jesus and from personal experience of 5+ years on the mission field. One of our main ministries is discipleship, and specifically, discipling young people.
The first aspect of discipleship that we'll look at today is discipling during teachable moments of daily life. Jesus set the example by following the Biblical model in Deuteronomy 11:19, “You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (By the way, this verse was given to parents first. As parents, we can never forget or overlook our first and foremost discipleship opportunity: our children!) Jesus took advantage of teachable moments as He lived daily life with His disciples. And that is the key: He lived daily life with them. You can’t take advantage of those teachable moments if you aren’t around to experience them. This means making significant time commitments on both the part of the disciple and the mentor.
My husband and I have worked hard to share daily life with the young people we are discipling. Over time, they have come to us with questions from their real world struggles and problems and we have helped them work through the problems through the lens of the Bible. And then finally, they have begun showing signs of spiritual maturity as they learn to apply Scripture for themselves in practical ways in their lives: a sign of Biblical wisdom.
Have you recently prayed about who God might be wanting you to reach out to and disciple? The Christmas season is a great time to bring people into your home to share in your meaningful traditions and learn about the greatest gift of all: Jesus!