One of the primary reasons why relationship is the context for discipleship is because of the need for life-on-life modeling. People need to see an example of what life and ministry look like in through the example of another believer. This is what made Jesus’ discipleship ministry so effective. Class was always in session with Him. He taught things and showed how those things looked in live action. If we are to make disciples who are equipped to make disciples, we have to be able to model for them life with Jesus.
Read 1 Corinthians 11:1, Philippians 3:17; 4:9, 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Discuss: Can you describe someone who modeled life with Jesus for you?
Time is our most valuable asset. We constantly want to be thinking about how we can leverage the things we're already doing by creating time to include someone we are discipling. Whether it’s a formal meeting or an informal meeting, you want to create rhythms of spending time with people you are investing in. Them being around you is the only way true modeling can take place.
Discuss: What would be required of you to include people in the things you are doing in life?
Jesus did all of his ministry with incredible purpose and intentionality. At the end of His life, He was able to say that He “accomplished the work” that God the Father had sent Him to do. (John 17:4) This means He left no stone unturned. With anything we want to pass along to someone else, we should think through how to best put ourselves in situations to model for them the life of Christ.
Invite someone to do a quiet time with you. Literally pray in front of them and then discuss what was said and heard in the prayer. Model what kinds of things you pray for, how you petition.
Think through some ways to invite people to be with you while you evangelize to others. Challenge group members to bring a lost friend to a meeting or a place where you all will be together. Intentionally start a conversation with that friend that leads to you sharing the 3 Circles Evangelism Tool. If you are hanging out together in a public place, be intentional to build a friendship and start spiritual conversation with someone else so that they can see you being missional.
Invite people into your home for dinner with your family and demonstrate family devotion, hanging out afterwards, and bedtime routine.
Invite them to spend time with you while you prep for d-group. They are observing how you lead discipleship group while you are doing it, so begin forming good questions to debrief with them how you facilitated things, what you were aiming for, how things actually happened, and how you adjusted.
Invite them into high pressure situations like competition, training, or maybe a work trip and allow them to see you handle challenges and respond in a godly way.
Discuss: Can you think of other ways to be strategic?
Read Prov. 28:13
It’s important when discipling people to be authentic with them and to allow them to see the real you. It is not helpful for them to only see the nice, neat, have it all together side of you. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable before them, sharing your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to allow them see you respond to something in a way that is out of step with the gospel, yet recognize it and repent. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know when they ask a question you don’t know the answer to or have never experienced.
Discuss: Why is it helpful in modeling life with Christ to others that you allow them to see the real you?
How does modeling the life of Christ deepen a person’s grasp of Christianity?
In what ways are you not modeling the Christian life for others?
What are some fears of allowing people to see the real you?
How does the gospel free you from those fears?
Ask God to help you create margin for people to be with you, Ask for strength to be a good model of Christlikeness and for forgiveness for where you haven’t been.