There has been a value we have had for a long time. Recently we have been given words to express this value. A mentor once wisely told us, when discipling people, "Don't schedule time for them. Invite them into your schedule."
That is it!
That's the way to say it!
This captures the heart of our discipleship process of Modeling, Assisting, Watching, and Releasing. It's not that we didn't know how to DO this, but rather we didn't seem to know how to teach it in a way that imparted it to others. If we cannot impart what God has entrusted to us, then we cannot get to multiplication. If we do not get to multiplication, then we are left with trying to gather more and more people into a room to feed them information which can lead to exhaustion.
We all have the same limited 24 hours per day with which we work. Currently, we have a fulltime volunteer staff of about 35 people. Our days begin with 2 hours of corporate worship and intercession. When staff are juggling the plethora of duties that they have, in addition to two hours of worship and intercession, you begin to wonder where the time for discipleship will come from.
We believe discipleship is a lifestyle and not an activity. Discipleship happens during life, not during meetings. But practically, how does that work? Let me give you an example.
This week we took a new believer from Iran and invited him to come and worship and pray with us. In order for Him to catch God's heart for worship and intercession, this man needed to see it, not just be instructed to do it. He saw us sing, pray for him, pray for his people, and he saw us pray for his country. In this particular case, this man saw a vision of Jesus saving his people and Jesus told him how very much He loved him!
Yesterday, Rachel, who is one of our crew, was going into the city to share Jesus with any Persian person she could find. I casually sent a message to my Iranian friend to let him know what she was going to do (maybe I knew how he would react). He was mortified that she would be going alone! He dropped all that he was doing and went and met her in the location that I said she would be. This new believer began to learn to how to share Jesus with others by getting to watch Rachel and assist her while she was sharing Jesus. He began to learn the joy of sharing Jesus and the necessity of 2 hours of worship and intercession beforehand! This is so necessary to for what we do!
Often, the new believers we interact with do not know anything different than what they see from us. They do not have a concept of sitting in church building for an hour and a half on Sundays and then do nothing else with Jesus the rest of the week. What they see from us will be what they consider normal. We must model it well!
If you desire to make disciples, but feel a bit stuck in the beginning process, begin to pray for someone you wish to see grow in the Lord. Do it today! Ask this person if you can get together to pray with them. Instead of asking them to coffee, bring them with you to the hardware store or the grocery store, the doctor's office or to pick your children up from school. Don't schedule time to just meet with them, but rather invite them into your schedule.