Let’s Break the Cycle of Non-Discipleship in the Church

As I’ve stumbled forward, I’ve learned a few things in my journey to become a disciple and to disciple others. Here are 4 ways you can help interrupt the cycle of non-discipleship through your life:

1. Look for God in the ordinary and help others do the same

God is always present and at work. He uses the everyday situations of life to grow us more and more into the image of Jesus. And he invites us to participate with him in this work.

Discipleship is more about paying attention to what God is doing in our lives and the lives of others than about checking things off the “list of things to know about God.”

2. Find small ways to walk with others

Discipleship never happens individualistically. It’s always in the context of community. We need to be with each other for discipleship to happen. We invite others into our lives and we are present in theirs. We say, “Come walk with me. Let’s do this together.”

The old African proverb expresses this beautifully, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

3. Lead in weakness, not strength or perfection

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have everything figured out. Honestly, I’m kind of a mess over here! So, how in the world can I disciple others?”

The good news is that we don’t have to be a perfect example, just a living one. Actually, leading from a place of “I have all the answers and everything figured out” is a recipe for disaster.

Jesus is the only perfect example; so we look to him and follow. His promise to us is that in our weakness, he is strong (2 Cor. 12:9). His power is made perfect in our weakness. So being weak is the only prerequisite!

4. Lean into vulnerability

Being vulnerable is essential in discipleship. And not just for the person we’re discipling, but for us as well! Our vulnerability gives permission to others to be vulnerable. It sets the stage, opens the door and helps people know the call isn’t to perfection.

Shame wants us to hide our imperfections because it says it’s the only way we’ll truly be loved, wanted, valued and accepted. Being vulnerable paves the way for others to be honest about their struggles. This is the place where God’s power meets us in mighty ways, bringing connection, healing, and freedom.

Written by Deb Sternke