Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How to be a disciple

Continuing my thots on discipling and discipleship. What criterias do we look for in a person before we initiate a mentoring-discipling relationship with them? Barnes suggest to look for individuals who are proactive red-hot seekers of God, rather than passive, indifferent individuals who believe that God's "irresistible grace" will "force" and somehow supernaturally cause them to be good, strong and mature disciples. The question is where are these seekers and how can we increase their level of "seekingness"?

by Seth Barnes

1. The seeking heart

To be a disciple of Jesus, you usually have to be the disciple of one of his followers. To follow well, you need the right posture. Your posture is the outward expression of your inward attitude. The typical posture of a Jesus follower is a slouch. It’s nonchalant spirituality.

I’ve described the four criteria of a good disciple: faithful, available, seeking, and teachable. A person who has these is postured for growth. The first posture of a disciple is that they are seeking help.

It would be nice if they were seeking God himself or seeking to be discipled, but at a minimum, they have to be seeking help. The Bible is full of exhortations that we should seek God. Everyone seems to love Jer. 29:11, but I love one two verses later, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Some Presbyterians take the sovereignty of God concept and conclude that God’s grace is so irresistible that you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. But such a perspective results in a certain spiritual impotence. God clearly wants hot-hearted seekers.

As a discipler, you can’t give a person what they aren’t looking for. This is why Sunday school is such a waste of time for so many teenagers. Better to dismiss everyone except for those truly looking to grow in Christ.

For those seeking Jesus with all their hearts, they’ll find him. And I maintain, they’ll find him most helpfully in older, wiser believers.

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