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Monday, August 08, 2016

Suggested guidelines on discipling others

In Matthew 28:16-20, Christ commanded His disciples to make disciples, which means to teach others carefully and thoroughly. How are we to do that? Here are some suggestions:

Guidelines on Discipling Others
The most important guideline is to be an example of Christlikeness.

Children: 1. read Bible stories to them, from the Bible, or from Bible story books.
2. Pray with them. Teach them that prayer is not just asking for things, but is also confession of sin, and asking for forgiveness, and is also thanking God for who He is and what He has done. Prayer should become a way of life.
3. Answer questions (Why isn’t my grandfather here anymore?) honestly, scripturally, and not so as to overwhelm the child. including “I don’t know, but I’ll try to find out” when appropriate.

4. Learn and live the Golden Rule. (Matthew 7:12)

Adults: Follow guidelines 2 and 3 above.

5. Teach that God loves sinners (John 3:16, Christ’s suffering and death) but hates sin.
6. Teach them to read the Bible regularly. New Christians shouldn’t start with Revelation or Ezekiel. They should become familiar with these passages: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 23, Psalm 51, Psalm 119:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 53:3-12, Matthew 7:12, Matt 5-7, 22:34-40, 25:31-46, 28:16-20, John 14:5-15:27, John 17, 1 Corinthians 13 and 15, Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 2:3-11, Hebrews 11, 1 John 1, 1 John 4:7-9. The rest of the Bible, especially the Gospels and Acts, is also good, and should be read, but probably these passages should be absorbed first. Teach that Christians disagree over the meaning of some Bible passages, but the main message of the Bible is clear. We shouldn’t expect to understand all of scripture. Bible study and teaching will increase our understanding. 
7. Teach that Christ’s death and resurrection is the only remedy for sin. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves, except accept God’s grace by faith. (Ephesians 2:1-10) However, accepting Christ’s sacrifice, and following Him, will lead to good works, such as giving, helping, befriending and discipling others.
8. Teach that God expects us to become part of a Christ-honoring church. Such a group won’t be perfect, but we should be part of it.
9. Teach that Satan will continue to try to discourage and defeat believers, but that there is no temptation that we can’t overcome. (1 Corinthians 10:6-13). If we do sin, there is forgiveness. (1 John 1:9.)
10. Teach that although salvation gives us hope of heaven, that’s not its main purpose. The main purpose is to enable us to live a victorious life – a Christ-like one, full of joy, now. (Ephesians 3:14-21, John 10:10.)
11. Teach that salvation does not guarantee that bad things won’t happen. But God cares for us in those times, whether we feel like He does or not. He cares so much that He died for us, and God the Holy Spirit comforts and guides us.
12. Teach that the Bible does not tell us how, when or why the universe came to be, but that it is here because of a Who – there is a purpose in the universe.
13. Discipling doesn’t mean reproducing our personal convictions, our slant on things that Christians disagree on, or our politics and prejudices. That would be making my disciples, or yours, not Christ
14. See the most important guideline, at the top of the page.

Thanks for reading! Any suggestions would be appreciated. I thank a member of a small group I am part of for a suggestion, which has been incorporated above.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Weekend Fisher has taken this idea further. Her thoughts can be found here: