Below is a resource from 6/1/17
Sharing Life Means Sharing the Real You
We understand from the disciple making ministry of Jesus that true discipleship requires life on life relationship. It requires me inviting someone into my life, allowing them to see the gospel lived out.
"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 11:1
But what about the times in our lives when we don't follow Jesus as closely as we should? What about when our walk isn't worthy of imitating? Should we allow people to see that also? If we aren't careful, we can lead ourselves to believe that the people we are investing in should only see our "wins." After all, If we are really going to show them gospel change, they should only see victory and maturity in walking with Jesus, right? But, is that really what our lives with Jesus look like always? The New Testament describes the Christian life as a person struggling with weaknesses, battling temptations, being formed into what they ought to be, while leaning on the sufficient work of Jesus. (Romans 7:13-25, Philippians 3:12-21) It describes someone who is not perfect, someone who is being perfected, as they cling to the power of the cross in their lives. So sharing life with those in our D-Groups means they should see the wins as well as the losses. I would argue that that would help them more than seeing an inauthentic version of us who "has it all together." So here are some practical things you can do to share the real you.
(These are principles I learned from Dr. Kennan Vaughn of Downline Ministries)
Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" - There is a temptation as a disciple maker to have all the answers. But honestly, we don't. So when we get a question in our D-Groups that we don't know the answer to, be free to say "I don't know, but I'd love to research it and get back with you." This will encourage those in your group. They will see that they don't have to be Bible scholars to disciple others. If they think they must wait to know everything before leading a D-Group, they never will. You could also invite them to study the question with you. This exposes them to how you find answers from commentaries, blogs, other leaders, etc.
Don't be afraid to confess weaknesses and sin - When your group is talking about accountability, make sure it's not everyone else sharing their darkest secrets while they get the sanitized version of your struggles. When they hear you confess sin and model repentance, they will learn that the gospel meets us where we are and changes us into who Jesus died to make us become. This will not only help them be more secure in the gospel, it will help them love others through sin by focusing on gospel change and not religious appearance.
Don't be afraid to expose them to other godly leaders - If we aren't careful, discipling others can make us prideful. We can start to enjoy being the "hero " in the eyes of those we invest in. But remember, we aren't the hero, Jesus is. They aren't our disciples, they are His. So don't be afraid to introduce them to people much smarter and mature in the faith than you. Brag on godly traits you see in others and point your group to ways you are imitating them. People need a variety of discipleship in their lives, and we limit people's potential when we only want them learning from us. Consider inviting someone who has been influential in your life to come and lead your group one day. Say to your group, "Guys, we get the joy of hearing from someone much more faithful than me in x, y, or z of our walk."
So sharing life with those in our D-Groups means they should see the wins as well as the losses. I would argue that that would help them more than seeing an inauthentic version of us who "has it all together."
Grace & Peace, Scott
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