Is there a method that we should use? Discipleship curriculum, video series, accountability groups, or any other model you can think of.
I want the Jesus curriculum.
Jesus modeled 5 ways that we can learn from without feeling like we have to run out and buy the latest program in order to produce good disciples. This is important for discipling anyone; from students to adults.
1. Jesus referenced the OT.
When teaching his disciples Jesus sought out passages in the OT to clarify and teach from. The entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is a reorienting of the Old Covenant to reveal that nothing has changed but evil, sinful hearts creating a false religion and focusing on the rules rather than seeing symbols and laws as a revealer of the heart.
Action point: Use the Bible! The main resource Jesus used was his words. Jesus quoted from 24 different Old Testament books and does so 45 times. Why go to another resource than the Bible? It is enough to open the Bible and begin studying it book by book.
2. He spoke in Stories or Parables.
Some people hate this. They will say, “Tell me to it straight”. Direct speech is beneficial, but in order to clarify a point a powerful metaphor or story can be very helpful. Jesus gave incredible illustrations and stories that applied to life.
Action point: If you are discipling someone you can usually only take someone as far as you have gone and therefore if you are approached with a question about life, you are able to respond with an experience that you have gone through. Discipleship is both digging into the text and properly applying it to life in order to do something about it that week.
3. He asked legendary Questions.
Jesus was famous for the Socratic method before it become vogue. The discipling process must include an ability to ask questions about the text and about life in order to help people grow without getting spoon-fed.
Action point: If you are not a relational person that might be a place to start. Though small talk is often fruitless, it will help you grow in your ability to ask questions. Second, when you read the text and it takes five minutes before you are ready to move on it might be good to ask more questions about the text. Though utterly simple the who, what, where, when , why , how are all important questions for getting a clearer picture of the text and peoples lives. Active listening helps these questions to be recalled faster.
4. He performed signs and miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did signs and miracles over and over and has promised that we will do greater things (John 14:12-14). Not in the sense that we will do Christ’s miracles, but that we will be impacting people all over the word. Tap into this promised resource.
Action point: Are you thinking that you will change this persons life by the greatness that is you or are you relying on the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray together that your lives will be changed. Don’t ask for the spirit to come, he’s there, but ask that he will reveal himself and radically change your lives. If Jesus relied on the power of the Spirit (Mark 1:8) why do we think we can do it without that power?
5. He Lived Life with Them.
This is crucial. For three years they shared life. Not in the sense that you have to become roomies, but sharing life is essential in this process. The first and last points are the most important. Digging into the text and sharing life. They broke bread. They ate and drank and every moment became a teaching moment. We need to share life with those we are discipling. Maybe not eat and sleep every day, but there should be moments of real life that you experience together.
Action point: IF you drive to places, invite those you are discipling to come along. If you eat, invite them to eat, or drink, or hang out. If you are trying to understand how to divide you time when you sit down to eat a 50-50 split is an easy divide. Spend 50% of your hour or hour and half in the word seeking to pull apart a text and spend the other 50% sharing life over food or coffee discussing the joys and challenges of the week.
(picture taken from Mike Macks Jesus Cirriculum)