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Dynamics of a Discipling Relationship

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Sad time of year…football is ending

-I love pro football because it is the most elite players and coaches

-Contrast with Backyard Football

Too often the church has operated more like backyard football

-Try to get the best player

-Hopefully they can make enough plays to win

-Hopefully we don’t have too many of the players who don’t get picked to hurt us

-The rest of us sit back and watch

That is not what Jesus did…nor what he envisions for his church

-How do we move beyond our current culture to function how Jesus desires us to?

Luke 6:39-40

He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

-Jesus recognizes two concepts here

1. There is a time to be led (blindness)

2. There is a time when the dynamic changes

“Fully trained” = katarizo 

-Blind people are untrained people 

-People need training 

Ephesians 4:12

NIV - “to equip”

KJV - “to perfect”

HCSB - for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ

ICB - to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving. He gave those gifts to make the body of Christ stronger.

NMB - so that the saints may have all things necessary to work and minister for the edifying of the body of Christ

NTFE - Their job is to give God’s people the equipment they need for their work of service, and so to build up the Messiah’s body.

WE - to make God's people better able to do their work for him and to make the body of Christ become stronger.

Discipling is to maturity

-Maturity is to ministry

Do you believe today that you are created for ministry?

-The church model of show up and observe fails at this

Be inspired enough to try to avoid sinning for a week

-God wants you to be involved in the ministry of making, maturing and mobilizing disciple-makers

-You may think that is crazy!

You are a disciple-maker

You are just not trained yet

-Say, “I am a Disciple-Maker…in training”

The leaders are not the disciple-maker

-Leadership is responsible to train others to do ministry

-I have failed at this

We must embrace this conviction

-Every disciple can be matured and trained to do real-life ministry work

If we miss this Jesus-intended goal of discipling

-It becomes what it is not intended to be

-It becomes optional

-It gets focused on all of the wrong things

Today I want to look at a two Dynamics of Discipling Relationships

-Three People Involved in a Discipling Relationship

-The Stages of a Discipling Relationship

The Three People Involved In a Discipling Relationship

-Disciple - The person receiving help.

-Discipling Partner - The person providing help.

-Jesus - The one who guides the process and transforms the disciple.

What does the Bible say about each of these???

1. Disciple

II Corinthians 13:11

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

-“strive for full restoration” = katarizo

Discipling only works for disciples

-Committed to loving him, following him, being transformed by him and embracing his mission

-We all have gaps in…

The Four Spheres of Discipleship

Being a Spiritual Parent or Disciple-Maker

We all need help seeing our blind spots - Johari Windows

-What I and others are aware of - Open Area

-What I am aware of but others aren’t - Hidden Area

-What others are aware of and I am not - Blind Spot

-What neither I nor others are aware of - Mystery

-We all need soil assistance

Rocky Soil

Thorny Soil

A disciple must own their responsibility to mature spiritually

-Only the disciple can do this

The Discipling Partner can’t do it for them

Even God does not for katarizo on people

Are you ready to embrace being discipled to maturity and ministry?

2. Discipling Partner

I Thessalonians 3:10 - Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.

-“supply” = katarizo

-A letter wasn’t enough because it was not about knowledge

-He wanted to be face-to-face so that they could train then to live faithfully to King Jesus

-If what was lacking in their “faith” was knowledge he could write a letter (lots of those)

-This “faith” was about their lived-out allegiance to King Jesus

Galatians 6:1

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 

-“restore” = katarizo

-There is maturing in overcoming sin AND equipping for ministry

God’s plan is for us to do this for each other!

3. Jesus

-Our Definition of a Disciple

    Jesus said "I will make you to become fishers of men"

    Committed to be transformed by him

I Peter 5:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in [the King], after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast

-“restore you” = katartizo

-There is an aspect of maturing that God is involved in 

Hebrews 13:20-21 (KJV)

Now the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through [King Jesus], to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

-‘make you perfect” = katarizo

-That katarizo is to “every good work”

-God’s katarizo, or maturing, is to ministry

Jesus and Peter - Luke 22:31-32

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

-Jesus recognized that there was a physical human role

There was also a working of God in Peter’s life role so he prayed for him

-This is the “No Rescuing” part of our Small Group Guidelines

He has given us His Word

II Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

-“thoroughly equipped”

artios - fitted, complete; with “special aptitude for given uses

exartios - furnish or equip perfectly

-The Bible is central to this process

This dynamic is important to understand as each person must ONLY feel responsibility for and do their role.

-Unhealthy discipling happens when each person isn't doing their role

Stages of a Discipling RelationshipLuke 6:40

"The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher."

Jesus recognizes two stages in the discipling relationship

-Teacher - Student

-Mutual encouragement - Fully Trained/Like Their Teacher 

-We recognize that as disciples mature so does the nature of the relationship. 

-Early on in a disciple’s maturing process it is a Teacher - Student relationship. 

-As a disciple matures the relationship matures to one of Mutual Encouragement, while still being intentional in maturing towards spiritual parenthood. 

-We also recognize that, at times, due to spiritual weakness or specific needs the relationship will take on a Teacher - Student dynamic.

Another way to look at this is the transition between a coach and a workout partner

Teacher/Student - Coaching and training

-Teaching skills, specific instruction, following up, correcting, seeing new areas of weakness and addressing, intentional development

Mutual Encouragement - Workout partner dynamic

-critique form, hold each other accountable, challenge each other, train/workout together

Dynamic changes based off the maturity of the people engaged

-the dynamic shifts as each person matures

It is also important to understand that at times the dynamic shifts back to Teacher-Student

-New life-stages, new ministry responsibilities, slip back in spiritual maturity, areas of expertise

Discipling requires a willingness to be trained- can’t run a marathon if you’re unwilling to train for it

-The discipling partner helps to guide but it the disciple has to take ownership of the motivation to see it through

-Are you willing to be trained?

Next month = Stages of Spiritual Maturity


-Be consistent - meet up regularly

-Mutual pursuit - both partners should pursue discipling time together 

-Know the dynamic - Teacher-Student looks different from Mutual Encouragement

-Be prepared - both parties should have questions to ask

-Bad discipling is often a result of a lack of preparedness, not a lack of ability

Closing…God wants each of us to mature to ministry!
 - To be katarizo

-Every born again disciple of Jesus has the capacity to make, mature and mobilize disciple-makers

No all-stars

Everyone is a crucial player 

Are you willing to step into discipling that matures you to ministry?

Ephesians 4:12-13, 16

So Christ himself gave…the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ…From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

It is time for the whole body to embrace the whole measure of Christ’s fullness

-Stop acting like backyard football

-We all need to embrace that we are all called to real ministry work

-We need each part to do its work!

This was Jesus’s model and hope for his church

-Let’s pursue that in the KVC!

Kanawha Valley Church
1565 Smith Road, Charleston, WV 25314
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