by Jason Hayes
While the call to discipleship is clear, it’s not necessarily easy. Here’s why. And here is some practical help as well.
Lack of Time
Discipleship feels counter-intuitive to everything else in our culture. We live in a quick-moving world that endorses fast-food mentalities and instant gratification. Unfortunately, discipleship doesn’t happen that way. Instead, it takes time and prolonged commitment from both the discipler and the disciple. Evaluate your schedule to see if it lines up with priorities like discipleship. If it’s as important as you may say it is, does your calendar reflect that? Get rid of stuff that doesn’t need to be there in order to make room for the things that do. Also, don’t think of discipleship as something that demands you add hours into your schedule. Instead, consider how you can disciple within your day-to-day life. It feels more natural, it’s more effective, and it’s more representative of what Jesus modeled.
Lack of Trust
People want deep, meaningful relationships. But, that’s not always easy to find, is it? Whether we recognize it or not, many people are becoming more and more reserved in who they will trust and open up with. There is an innate distrust that seems to permeate our society, and it’s sadly quite justifiable. This generation has seen leaders within politics, sports, religion, and their own families make some pretty bad choices. Often these choices are closely tied to deceit and dishonesty. The only way we overcome this as we seek to disciple others is by modeling lives of authenticity, integrity, and transparency. That isn’t gained quickly or from distanced contact. Rather, we need to be shepherds who lead from within the flock as opposed to always out in front of it.
Lack of Connection
How do you connect with those you’re called to disciple? In many situations, it comes naturally and the relationship develops organically. But, in some instances, this simply isn’t the case. We certainly can’t just avoid those relationships that require effort. Rather than giving up, think differently about the process. Consider the individual and what approach may be best for them. Evaluate what topics might create dialogue, activities that would foster belonging, and other elements that would establish ownership. Think about them and their needs as opposed to you and your agenda.
Jason Hayes is an author, speaker, and the young adult ministry specialist for Threads. Visit him at www.jasonhayesonline.com.