Summary: Making Disciples; Making a Difference Send: Releasing Spiritual Parents
Making Disciples; Making a Difference
Send: Releasing Spiritual Parents
We are in finishing an eleven week series entitled, Making Disciples; Making a Difference, in which we have explained the process of discipleship so that everyone of us can intentionally be involved in the process of discipleship; either being discipled or discipling others. We have seen that Jesus defined the win for us as making disciples. A disciple is someone who follows Christ, is being changed by Christ, and is committed to the mission of Christ. Then we looked at a disciple’s growth stages. We described the three keys to making disciples, Intentional Leaders + Relational Environment + Reproducible Process = Multiplying Disciples. A few weeks ago we started looking specifically at our mission - Win, Train, Send. Kevin looked at Win, sharing with us the characteristics of the spiritually dead and their needs; then the last two weeks we looked at Train, describing how we can help spiritual infants and children grow and then helping how to help SYA adults help others. This week we end our series with Send – Releasing Spiritual Parents to Reproduce. I want to explain how we can help SYA transition to being SP who can reproduce disciples.
Summary of Growth stages:
SD – unbelief; SI- ignorance and dependent; SC - self centered, idealistic; SYA – zealous, action/service oriented and God centered and independent. The key characteristic of SP is that they are intentional with themselves and with others. Their lives are centered around the mission of Christ, making disciples. Because of this they want to reproduce their lives in the lives of others. They are self feeders; not dependent upon Sunday sermons or others for their spiritual nourishment. They also committed to team ministry. Lastly, they are dependable.
1. Explain the Discipleship Process (1 Cor 4:17)
You know when a SYA is ready to become a SP because they are capable of an available to disciple others. You want them to understand the discipleship process. Sometimes you meet someone who needs very little discipleship but they have never been discipled so they do not understand the process of discipleship process. The key characteristic of a SP parent is that they are intentional. They are intentional with themselves, their relationship with Jesus, their life, and making disciples. They are also intentional with others, looking to help people move forward in the discipleship process. They are Intentional with a few rather than relational with the many.
2. Provide Discipleship Opportunities (Lk 6:40)
Why do most of us struggle as first time parents? Because we have never done it before! It is the same in discipleship process. Many of us have never been discipled, let alone discipled someone else. So you invite the SYA into the discipling process/relationship. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul involved their disciples in their ministry, eventually giving them more and more responsibility. Paul uses the term fellow worker, servant, and soldier, laborer fifteen times in his letters. They were individuals who he invited to go with him on ministry trips and learned to minister alongside him. They watched; they participated; then they taught others. SYA need to see that team ministry is part of DNA of New Testament ministry– plurality of elders; ministry teams; twelve; five fold ministry. When they are comfortable discipling others, help them identify individuals they could start discipling themselves. Have them pray about who to disciple, see who they have a natural connection with, and then look for F.A.T. people (faithful, available, and teachable).
3. Release to Reproduce (2 Tim 1:13-14)
Releasing is the culmination of the process of equipping. Before Jesus left the twelve disciples, he trained and equipped them, he empowered them, and then released them to make disciples. When you release someone to be a SP, they become co-laborers alongside you. You mentor and coach them, giving them support, encouragement, and accountability as they disciple others.
Takeaways . . .
● Are you spiritually F.A.T.?
● What is keeping you from transitioning to being a spiritual parent?
● How have you grown through this series?