We have now gone through the initial seven steps we believe to be necessary to becoming a disciple-making disciple, and still some of you who read this are stuck. Do not worry, the same thing was true of the first followers of Jesus! Most of them were very slow to learn, too. Here are five of the most common obstacles to beginning.
Fear of rejection. I am told that the Holy scriptures have this phrase, or a version of it 365 times: “Be not afraid.” Once for every day of the year. It must be a common problem! Ask the Holy Spirit to come to you and embolden you. You will not find a discipling teacher until you ask. No true Christian woman or man will be upset if you ask them to help you learn to be a disciple-making disciple. They may point you to someone else, but they will not have a negative response to your quest.
I don’t know who to ask. There is a clear picture hiding in plain view in the pages of the Scriptures that will break you out of this concern. Who do you already know, like, or admire? Who is already a part of your life that you would like to be with on the disciple- making journey? These are people with whom you have some affinity already. They should be the first you approach. Andrew went to his brother. Philip went to Nathaniel. Paul and Priscilla and Aquila had a bond of affinity because they shared an occupation. Do not ask a stranger. Ask someone whom you believe you have some affinity with already. Almost always God has someone already in your life, in your field of acquaintance, who will be right for you.
What do we talk about when we first meet? As we pointed out earlier, there are a small number of scriptures that must guide the disciple-making journey, if it is to be in obedience to Jesus’ teaching. These are: Luke 14:26,27,33; John 8:31-32; 13:34-35; 15:7-8. Let discussion of these scriptures be at the center of your time together until you are sure it is time to move on without ever forgetting them. Any serious disciple-making disciple must memorize them. Also Matthew 4:19; 6:33; and 28:19. These twelve verses must be read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested. They will be a reference to your entire journey.
What structure do we follow? We have learned through many years that the key to discipling another person is time with them, and honesty before the Lord. There is not a rigid structure. We pray to begin and end our time together. We speak of the things the Lord is teaching us from our daily time with him in scripture. We bring our struggles and difficulties into the light. We laugh. We encourage. We build one another up.
Learning this is difficult. No one sets out on this path and immediately finds it easy. It requires tenacity and a willingness to start again when we fall. We have been told repeatedly by the Lord that this way is narrow and hard, but he promises us that it leads to life. Ask him to help you. Constantly flee to him for help. He will come to your side.