In the last blog, we discussed everyone's R.O.L.E. in disciple-making leadership. You may be thinking that is all well and good but HOW do you approach someone to start that relationship?
If we want to know how then we need to see how Jesus did it. Take your Bibles and go to Matthew 4:18-22, which is where the first disciples were called by Jesus. The close parallel passage is Mark 1:16-20. Take note that Christ was out among the people and He was looking for people to disciple (something we discussed at length last time).
When He finds those with whom He wants to initiate a relationship, he does two very specific things: (1) asks them to follow and (2) adapts the purpose into language they understand. We try to complicate things but not Jesus - He just invited them and gave them an idea as to why. Remember, these rugged individuals were fishermen. In stating the purpose Jesus wanted them as disciples, He said they would become fishers of men. This was not a catchy or glitzy sales pitch - it was a language they could understand. The word picture gave them a sense - even though not a crystal clear one - of what would be the end result of that relationship.
Jesus called them to a life of courage, cost, and change. It would require them to have the courage to give up some things in order to gain others. It would also force them to see where they had to surrender to be more like Him. For these first disciples, they listened to His call and they left who they were to reach for who they could become - fishers of men. Note the way the text shows their response: immediate and things are left behind.
What does that mean for you?
Walk up to that person that God has now laid on your heart and ask: "Hey, I need a Bible study partner. Interested in learning with me?" It's just that simple. Do not complicate it. If that person says no, that's okay. The Bible records, in Matthew 19:22, at least one individual that refused the call of Christ. And, that did not deter Jesus from reaching out to others. For you after rejection, then find another person and ask the same way!
To wrap up, here are two thoughts about disciple-making leadership:
(1) The cost of the hoped-for future is held to present
(2) You cannot follow unless you first leave