“Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Do you want your life to matter?

I remember taking a missions class years ago. The professor was a legend. He had written several books, lectured all over the world, and achieved some of the highest academic awards.

One time in class, I remember him saying to a group of us, “My life is determined by the people I disciple, and so should yours.” He proceeded to quote 2 Timothy 2:2, which says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable me who will also be qualified to teach others.”

I wholeheartedly agree with my old professor. The Christian life isn’t about achieving some level of success in the world. Rather, it’s about pursuing lives that need to be discipled in the truth of the Gospel. And study after study show that the church is failing miserably at fulfilling this top command.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for mentors that poured into my life, as well as the lives I poured into.

What about you? Is your life determined by the people you disciple?

Three Life-Changing Steps

The first step in discipling another Christian brother or sister is that you’ve been discipled. If you haven’t, I encourage you to start here first before jumping the gun. Ask the Lord to bring someone in your life that can disciple you in the Word of God. Let them know that you have a desire to do the same and that you are ready to learn and grow.

Once you’ve received proper discipleship, the second step is to pray daily for God to make it clear who you are to disciple. I’m sure there are many people who would benefit from you, but the reality is only a few will actually do something with it. You see, discipleship is only as good as you and the person you are discipling make it. If discipleship isn’t a priority for you, then it won’t be for the disciple. And if it isn’t important to the disciple, it will only cause problems for you. Therefore, when you commit to disciple someone, make sure that the two of you agree to a covenant that will preserve your commitment together. The last thing the two of you want is a failed attempt at discipleship.

The last step is to have a game plan as to how the discipleship will work, and what study you plan to take your disciple through. My recommendation is to start with the Bible. That may seem an obvious choice, but far too many discipleship groups get caught up in the cycle of talking about the Bible, and therefore, grow very little in it.