We talked in our last blog about how important the Great Commission is as followers of Christ. This month, I would like to talk about some practical ways we can be obedient in following this command.
Each of us has a circle of influence in our lives. Sometimes we feel like we don’t, but someone is watching you to see what you are doing. It may be your children, spouse, coworkers, people in the gym, etc. This circle of influence is a great place to start, which is what Jesus did. He took the people closest to him and invested time with them. While he spent time with them, he taught them how to follow Him with their lives. This was an intentional, focused effort to teach people how to live a life that matters for God. Where do you have influence?
Jesus didn’t use a curriculum or a fancy process to disciple. He taught His disciples as they went through life. I have been discipling for over 15 years, and one thing I have learned is that when you spend a year or more with a group of people, intentionally investing in their lives, you have lots of opportunities to teach them.
Over the course of a year, life happens to people and to you. This is the area where you get to teach them. Marriages struggle, parents pass away, jobs change, health issues arise, children pass through different stages of life -- the list goes on. As a disciple maker, you have the chance to point people back to God’s Word during these teachable times.
You are preparing them in advance for these critical times by teaching them spiritual disciplines. Teaching them how to pray, to read, and to apply God’s Word; to fast; to memorize scripture; to give -- as Jesus said, “Everything I have commanded you.” Who can you intentionally teach?
My encouragement to you today is to take a step. Identify those with whom you may have influence. Ask God to reveal these people to you and to make you aware of the opportunities you have. Then, spend time with them. Be intentional to take advantage of teachable moments. This is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do, and, most importantly, it is a command from Jesus Himself!