One of the many reasons or excuses that I’ve heard from Christians on why they don’t have a discipleship ministry or why they’re afraid to start one is this,
“I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO DO IT!”
I also thought about that as soon as our professor in Evangelism and Discipleship told us to look for a young person to disciple. I thought to myself,
“I don’t know enough Bible verses…
I’m not good in teaching or even starting a conversation…
I’m not sure if other women will like to spend time with me…
People know me, how can I disciple others if they know my shortcomings?
Maybe I’ll teach wrong principles that they will then teach to others.😲”
Before we answer the question: Am I really qualified to do this? It is important to establish that the word disciple is not just a verb but is also a noun. Yes, we are to disciple other people but we are first and foremost, a disciple of Christ.
A disciple is a follower of Christ. A student, an imitator. In fact, that’s why we are called CHRISTians.
If you remember how the 12 disciples of Christ came to know Him, you’ll notice that the moment they believed, they followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-20)
So here’s the first qualification to start a discipleship ministry:
* You should first be a disciple of Christ in order for you to disciple others. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
As they say, you cannot give to others what you have not received. If you don’t have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, then you don’t have anything to share and teach others that is of value.
If you are already a Christian, you should know that the Gospel is not a one-time thing, we are to live it out for the rest of our lives and as we walk with the Lord, we learn new things about Him and about us. And, what a privilege it is to share the journey with others–that, my friends, is what discipleship is all about.
Then comes the question, “Is being a Christian enough to start a discipleship ministry?”
Yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that we are all called to the great commission, it is not only the Pastor, Sunday school teachers, evangelists, missionaries, old people in the church’s job to share the Gospel and disciple others. It is a Christian’s duty.
Yes, in the sense that as a disciple of Christ yourself, you are called to not only continue in the things that you have learned (2 Timothy 3:14), but are called to share what you’ve learned to others. (2 Timothy 2:2)
But no, in the sense that maturity plays an important role in this ministry. A baby Christian, or a backsliding Christian, will not be able to fulfill the role of a discipler.
“how mature should I be to start this ministry?”
Maturity is not in the number of years you spent as a Christian but in the quality of your relationship with the Lord.
Maturity is not found in the number of Bible verses you know (though that will be really helpful), it is in your growing desire to know God’s word.
Maturity is not when you portray a sinless life (’cause only Jesus can do that) but it is in living consciously and depending on the Lord to help you live a life that’ll honor His name.
Maturity is not a destination, it is an ongoing battle fought with the help of God’s grace.
Maturity is wrapped around humility. Knowing that you are only able to do so much as God enables you.
“I don’t have a perfect testimony, how can I teach others to live a godly life if I can’t even win this struggle over my sins?”
Have you ever compared yourself to that godly lady you look up to in church? I have done that several times and it is wrong in many ways. In thinking that way, I am not putting my faith in Christ and in what He can do through me. It is depending on myself, on what I can say and give rather than looking to Christ and how He can use me as His vessel.
If this makes you feel any better, nobody has a perfect testimony. We all have our own share of struggles in life but it is in these daily battles that we are able to see the hand of God and that is what we can impart to others. You can teach out of your failures the goodness, holiness and mercy of God. You can teach out of your struggles that only God can transform us. You can teach out of your inabilities (and insecurities) that God can use anyone to fulfill His purpose.
Besides, when you disciple, your goal is not to lead others to look up to you, you point them to Jesus Christ.
Discipleship isn’t about first-class Christians trying to bring second-class Christians up to their level. Being a disciple and discipling others means looking at Jesus with such intensity and delight that you actually begin to reflect His beauty in everyday life. Jesus becomes more exciting, more precious, more satisfying than anything or anyone else. The most important way you can disciple others is by enjoying Christ yourself in such an irresistible way that your enjoyment becomes contagious – Jani Ortlund, Revive Our Hearts
You see, as in any other ministries, discipleship is God’s opportunity for us to depend upon Him for His wisdom and grace. More than a duty, it is a privilege to share the goodness of the Lord in our lives with other people.
I hope and pray that this article has somehow help you decide to start your own discipleship ministry.
Thank you for taking the time to read.😊