Discipleship training Lesson #17-Why spiritual reproduction does not work!
This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
Luke 16:10-12 " He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
My friend, are you producing disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ?
If you will read carefully over the verses above in Luke 16:10-12, perhaps we can discover together why our lives are so barren.
I was thinking about this concept today on April 1, 2003, and was wondering why there were times in my life when spiritual reproduction was the farthest thing from my mind. I was too busy on my everyday "list of things to do" and just did not take time to think about how to influence men and women for Jesus.
And then I listened to Dawson Trotman's tape, "Born to Reproduce" again. It is my practice to listen to this tape about once a month. I have done this for years.
Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, was converted at age 20, gave the remaining 30 years of his life to vigorous pursuit of the goal "to know Christ and to make him known." His passion was to win men to Christ and then to see them grow and reproduce themselves by winning others to Christ.You can order a copy of the booklet from the Navigator's web site if you like. Here is the link.
You may still order the tapes from The Castle Bookstore in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
or write to the Navigator's at this link.
So perhaps we can nail down some things that Dawson was talking about so many years ago. He told us that there are three things that keep a man from reproducing disciples.
1. Spiritual immaturity
2. Sin in your life.
3. Not married or in union with the Savior.
Since most of you who read this are in union with the Savior, and I hope you are dealing with sin as God reveals it, the remainder of this article will deal with problem #1.
If you look at Luke 16:12, you might translate it this way. "If you have not been faithful in another person's ministry, then God will not give you one of your own." (Jim Young Translation)
God wants us to reproduce after our own kind, and perhaps He is holding back giving you your disciple, until you nail down your relationship with the person who is trying to help you.
In order to do this perhaps you could ask yourself a few questions.
Did Jesus ever lose any of the folks who were hanging around Him and his ministry? The answer is yes.
Did he challenge his disciples to commit their life to Him? Yes He did!
How deep was their commitment to training with the Master? They left their jobs, their families, and their friends. Wow, what a commitment!
Is this practical in today's world? Not really, since we all have obligations, jobs and commitments in our every day world. But there are some things you can do.
1. Commit to spending regular time with the person who is discipling you. I would suggest that you start at least a minimum of one hour a week, perhaps for lunch or breakfast.
2. Keep in touch by phone or email several times a week. Pray for each other daily, and ask God to knit your hearts together.
3. At least once a month, do something for a longer period of time. Perhaps getting together as families, or attend a sporting event, or attending some function with your children or their children.
4. Remember that Jesus ordained twelve, that they should be "with Him". The more time you spend with the person who is training you, the more God will want to give you someone that you can help grow in the Lord.
5. So today, pick up the phone, or send an email, and tell your mentor of your commitment. Then stick with it, and God will bless you with another person to disciple.
1. Open up your Bible to the Gospel of Mark. Make a note of every encounter that Jesus had with his disciples. After you finish, ask God to reveal to you how you can put this into practice with your mentor and your disciple.
2. Commit yourself to spending regular time with the people whom God gives you as a "Paul" or a "Timothy". Set yourself a regular time each week to meet with that person, and make it a priority in your life.
3. Get a notebook and keep a spiritual diary about your relationship. Use it as a prayer reminder to pray for your friends.