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blank.gif (43 bytes)  Preparing for students
Discipled student profile
Building young Christians
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launch 2.7

Training Students in Discipleship

You have just been given the job of filling the Grand Canyon with dirt. You stand at the precipice, shovel in hand (after all, we must be gentle on the environment), to survey the work before you. You confidently slide the shovel in the earth, scoop it up and toss it into the abyss. After repeating the process several times, your confidence begins to wane as the sheer size of the task overwhelms you.

It is obvious that you know what to do and how to do it, yet it would take millennia for you to complete the task alone. Wait, that’s it! You can’t do it alone, but you can recruit others to join you. That way, you can multiply your efforts and actually get the job done.

Jesus’ last instructions to His followers was to "make disciples of all the nations." They must have felt like it would be impossible to fulfill Jesus’ request. Yet, over the last several hundred years, hundreds of thousands of people have been disciples of Christ because these men invested in making disciples of people. Because of the great responsiveness to God in our generation, we need to invest in making disciples who will make disciples who will make disciples who will . . . I think you get the idea. The Grand Canyon could only be filled if millions of people were involved.

Four Steps to Get You Started in Making Disciples of Christ

1. Find people who want to be disciples of Christ.

What Jesus saw in the disciples was their eagerness to learn. They weren’t perfect, but they had a hunger to know God. They wanted to grow closer to God and see Him work in their lives.

There are at least three things you should consider when looking for students who are ready to lead a discipleship group:

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Is the person growing spiritually?
A student does not have to be a spiritual giant, but he does need to have some amount of maturity. Check out his lifestyle, his spiritual priorities, and his desire to serve Christ. Is he growing in these areas? He should be involved in sharing his faith before he is a group leader.
He needs to have demonstrated faithfulness, which is being consistent and reasonably responsible, as described in 2 Timothy 2:2: "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also."

 

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Find out if the person is being discipled.
Before a student can disciple others, he needs to be being discipled by you or someone else. He also needs accountability, so you will want to continue to disciple him as he leads others. If you have more than one group leader, you may want to disciple them in a separate leaders’ group.
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Is the person mature socially?
You don’t need to be a social policeman here, but to lead others, a student needs to be able to build friendships, communicate clearly, and be sensitive to others. To teach and lead others, a student needs good social skills.

2. Ask the Person to lead a Discipleship Group.

Help build a vision for the high school in your discipleship times together. Help him see the needs of his fellow students. Point out his friends’ need for Christ and his need to grow in the Lord. Show him how he could play a part in reaching his friends and why God has chosen to use "people multipliers."

Ask the student a few questions to help him consider the challenge of being involved in the process of disciple-making. Here are a few questions you might ask to help a student consider whether or not he might want to take the challenge of leading a discipleship group:

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It seems you really want to grow in your relationship with God. Would you agree?
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What does Matthew 28:18-20 (the Great Commission to make disciples) say to you about our roles Christians in helping other people?
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Is "making disciples" something you think you are ready to personally be involved in? If yes, I’d like to ask you to be involved in helping people become disciples who follow after Christ. (Let him know what you see in him that gives you the confidence he can do it.)
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Would you be involved in making disciples by leading a discipleship group?

 

Asking or "challenging" is the process of providing greater opportunity for students to respond to the call of Christ in their lives. This may come through our invitation, exposure to the word of God, an opportunity for faith-stretching Christian service, exposure to a more mature believer, a thought-provoking question, etc. It takes involvement in a person’s life. While God, through His Holy Spirit, has initiated a process of conforming a young believer to Himself, He has also chosen us to play a part. As leaders, we want to play that part with excellence.

3. Train the young leader to lead the group.

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Help your young leader select who should be in the group.
Do the people he is asking want to grow? Do the potential group members relate well to each other? Do the potential group members respect their leader?
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Teach him how to ask each person to join the group.
Help him appeal to the potential members desire to grow, define the purpose and length of the group, and determine the time and place for group meetings.
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Help him choose the content for the group meetings.
There are many good suggestions in the back of the 1x1x56k magazine.
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Help him learn how to teach and conduct the group meeting.
Help him lead his group in the steady growth of their Christian life - week to week. You will want to help him teach the group the Word. (See the lesson on Preparing a Bible Study Lesson) During the week, he will want to build relationships with the students. Remember that relationships are an integral part of discipling young people. Here are some ideas to help:
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Be an encourager. Think the best.
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Show special kindness. Learn to be a giver of your time and your possessions.
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Find out what their interests are and do the things they want to do.
Put the student before yourself.
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Go places together.
If you are planning any kind of activity – shopping, recreation, doing some work for someone – invite a student to go along.
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Phone or e-mail him.
Let him know you are thinking about him.
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Exercise or work out together.
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Study together – either schoolwork or Bible study.
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Eat together.
Going out to eat is a great time to have fellowship and talk.
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Invite him over for dinner.
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Attend Christian activities (such as concerts or special events) together.
Select activities that will help both of you grow spiritually.
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Write him when you are out of town.
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Share personally what God is teaching you.
Don’t be afraid to share some of your own needs.
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Help him share Christ with his friends.

 

4. Evaluate And Continue To Encourage The Student

From time to time, attend the student’s group and meet with him to share your thoughts on how the study went. Offer plenty of encouragement while you lovingly correct mistakes.

As you are faithful to equip students to lead their peers, you will be sure to see the impact of your ministry multiplied, and your dream of reaching a campus with the gospel will be that much closer to reality.

As you involve more disciples in the work, you might just see a few Grand Canyons filled up, or reach a school with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

From VITAL LINC Call 800.789.5462 or visit www.svlinc.com


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