Biblical Principles on Discipling
- Some Biblical foundations and principles
- Why did it fail?
- How do we make it work again?
A) Some Biblical foundations and principles
Discipling is at the heart of the scriptures both old & new testaments.
Deut 6:4-7 – impressing the word on others
Ecc 4:8-12 – there was a man all alone
Prov 27: 17 – as iron sharpens iron
Some New Testament passages
Matt. 28: 18-20 – teaching to obey
Heb. 3: 13 –encourage one another
Heb. 10: 24 – spur one another on
James 5: 16 – confess to one another
Romans 1: 14 – instruct one another
The above scriptures cannot be practiced through the pulpit; they are only practiced through one another close relationships.
God has always worked through close relationships. Even God was not alone and He is still not alone. We cannot as Christians survive alone. We need others in our lives.
B) Why did it fail?
Many of us are products of good and effective discipling relationships. I can’t forget several people like Donny Ogbonnaya my first ever discipler, Charles Elikwu, Chris Ogbonnaya, Toks Showolu, James Tob, Akin Lewis, the list is endless.
1) We threw away the baby with the bath water
2) The system was abused
3) People were taken advantage of
4) We settled down and started making excuses
5) Distance, relationships and trust became issues
C) Making it work again: some practical
See it as God’s command or instructions that must be obeyed; the key to success according to Gordon Ferguson in his book The Power of Discipling:
b) Seek advice – prov. 1: 22, 19: 20, 20: 18
c) A submissive spirit – James 3: 17, 1Pet. 5:5-6,
Being discipled: The practical’s that help it work According to Ferguson
1) Appreciate organization: have a discipling tree. Organize for discipling within the Bible talk level and family group. Things don’t just happen. Organization is always needed to make any group function effectively
2) Think friendship: (play and recreation). Discipling partners should be or should become great friends. The goal is to become best-friend spiritual relationship. We start with a determination to do it and achieve achieve it regardless of the challenges involved.
3) Keep expectations reasonable: expectations are always a huge issue in relationships. In discipling partner relationships certain unrealistic expectations creep in and induce needless pain. Example: solve all problems, change us, they should all be together (perfection)
4) Value accountability: who are you accountable to? Who is accountable to you?
5) Schedule for success: daily contact, weekly meetings, etc.
An ideal format/content
1) Sharing victories, struggles, sins, dreams, plans and anything else on our hearts and in our lives.
2) Opening the Bible for insights and answers to the above needs.
3) Sharing about exciting quiet times
4) Praying together; becoming prayer partners
5) Asking advice in many areas (Prov. 12: 15)
6) Obtaining input and direction for the upcoming week in our mission for Christ and others
7) Getting advice and direction regarding those you are discipling, your Bible talk, ministry, etc
8) Asking for loving accountability about the directions we received in the past week (Luke 9:10)
9) Going out to share our faith, follow up and serve others who need help
10) Sharing food and refreshment together if available.
Other good things can be added but the main emphasis is that the time should be scheduled, planned and spiritual in Content.
Watching football and games together, going to pepper soup joints together etc, may not be sufficient for a good disciping time.
Elder Imagbe Igbinoba