You’ve all heard of the disciples, right? They were a large group of people who followed Jesus around absorbing everything he said and tried to emulate everything he did.
Well, that’s sort of what modern-day discipleship looks like. It involves two or more people: one person is the discipler (what Jesus is) and the other people are the ones being discipled (like the Jesus followers were).
Basically, disciplers are people who have grown so deep in their walk with the Lord that they desire to point other people to the kingdom of God.
On the other hand, those who are being discipled have a relationship with Jesus, but they want a role model to talk about struggles, victories, and ideas.
If you have a desire to be a discipler or to be discipled, here are some qualities to look for.
10 Attributes a Discipler Should Have
1. A discipler should know the truth of the gospel
In order for someone to guide another person in their Christian walk, they need to have the facts about the Gospel right.
A good indicator of this is if they can explain John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life.”
2. A discipler should know how to listen before speaking
Sometimes, people just want to vent. It’s necessary for disciplers to give advice, but also to know WHEN to WAIT and WHEN to TALK.
Think of James 1:9: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
3. A discipler should be humble
A good person to ask for discipleship is the one who does not boast, but the one who credits God with their spiritual growth.
Don’t ask someone who thinks they have everything they need. The best discipler will be the first to admit their struggle.
Think of 1 Timothy 1:15-16 where Paul says, “15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
4. A discipler should only give advice where they have knowledge
Essentially, this means that disciplers should never fake or make up an answer to someone’e question for the sake of pride.
They should openly say they do not know and will promise to research a potential answer.
5. A discipler should be consistent with discipleship meetings
It’s one thing for the person who is being discipled to be late, but it’s an even worse thing for the discipler to be late or absent.
The only way to establish trust in a discipleship relationship is to be there when the meeting is scheduled.
This shows that the discipler is intentional about meeting with the other person and cares about what they are going through.
6. A discipler should encourage the other person to spend time alone with God
A discipler should never convey to the other person that their time together replaces time alone with God.
Encouraging prayer, reading God’s word, and listening to what he may say is the most important thing when in discipleship.
7. A discipler should be consistent in with time spent with God
Disciplers should promote their spiritual health and growth by setting the example of spending time alone with God.
They cannot encourage others to do this if they do not do it themselves.
8. A discipler should extend compassion to the other person
In order to create a safe, trusting atmosphere, the discipler should not immediately hound the other person.
The best thing is for the discipler to be empathetic and admit to understanding what the other person is going through.
The other person does not need someone to tell them they are wrong–odds are they already know that. They just need someone to tell them they’re not alone.
Eventually, the person being discipled will ask for advice, and that’s when the discipler can provide steps for overcoming the situation.
9. A discipler should reach out to the other person for fun activities
To fuel the potential friendship, the discipler should ask the other person to hang out just for the sake of hanging out.
It will make the other person feel more comfortable and will build their level of trust.
10. A discipler should study the life of Jesus and strive to be like him
The only way to become like Jesus is to get to know him. The only way to get to know him is through reading about him.
Intentional practice is good, too.
Can disciplers be discipled?
Disciplers absolutely can be discipled! As no one is perfect, and everyone is in need of community or friends, it is very important for disciplers to have disciplers, too.
So, if you want to be discipled, ask someone who fits this list of 10!
If you are discipling someone right now, evaluate how you interact with the other person.
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