My friend Heidi Scanlon recently shared some wisdom regarding how she approaches discipleship. Specifically, the kind of discipleship that happens when someone approaches her and asks her for discipleship and mentoring. I asked her permission to share.
Sometimes, God calls us to specific people. He wants us to go after them, pursue them, and invest in them even when they haven’t sought us out. The Holy Spirit drops those names in our hearts from time to time. I suspect Paul felt a specific call to Timothy. He obviously didn’t feel the same way about John Mark. Barnabas, on the other hand, evidently did feel called to John Mark. For most people, however, discipleship should hinge on their commitment matching ours. Otherwise, we waste our time.
In general, when we disciple others, they need to be faithful, available, and teachable. Not simply curious. We are called to make disciples; not hunt them down. Here are the ground rules that Heidi has put in place for such discipleship.
Heidi’s Discipleship Guidelines
- I will not chase you down. You have to organize the meeting and reach out to me to put it in the calendar. I am flexible and I don’t mind switching the days up even weekly. But I will not be reaching out to you. This is for you to invest in your own discipleship.
- If we miss more than 2 meetings in a row – I love you but let’s just be friends. Unless you can show there were real emergency type reasons. I’m not a prima donna. It’s just good for you to grow in commitments.
- Let’s pick a book. You choose. Can be a book of the bible. A book we read. Anything. I will ask you one main question every meeting: what did the Holy Spirit reveal to you and what did you do about it? Or I may say – how can we pray for that to become a reality in your life.
- You must agree from the beginning that you are going to find someone you can pour into after we finish our season together. It’s important that we can point to groups where we are discipling to the 3rd and 4th generation. I will ask you to pray about who you are being called to invest in in some way. Paul tells us to not be stingy with the word of God and what we learn. It’s important to pass it on.
And…some bonus wisdom from Heidi on being present for moms with young children…
For MOTHERS WITH KIDS AT HOME I WOULD NEVER BE THIS TOUGH.
The Lord gently leads those with young says the scripture. If they have little kids we need to come along side and help them. Empty their dishwashers. Sit on the floor and play with them and their kids. Talk about Jesus and marriage and family. Teach them to hear the voice of God if they don’t know how. Help them manage their exhaustion and emotions. Teach them tips and tricks like putting their bible on the counter when they are cooking dinner and mediating on a verse. Or praying for each family member when they fold their clothes. Or listening for the Lord to speak as they wash dishes. Or doing intercession when they are nursing a baby.