Discipleship is messy. I would love if it were a simple upward trajectory of growth, but that’s not reality. Sadly, my laziness and selfish desires did not fit well in some of my discipleship efforts. As a result, I learned a few lessons about leading others closer to Christ.
- Hypocrisy doesn’t produce results. “Do as I say, not as I do” will never work in discipleship. It’s disingenuous. God will not honor my efforts to challenge another person in areas that I haven’t dealt with.
- Failure to pray is asking to fail. How foolish of me to try and influence change in someone’s life without asking the Holy Spirit for help. Unfortunately, I have made this mistake more than once.
- A lack of intentionality fosters unproductive meetings. The goal is not to have a rigid, planned meeting. However, just going with the flow often keeps me from asking uncomfortable accountability questions.
- Wishy-washy lack of balance when demonstrating grace or rebuke doesn’t encourage godliness. I should always hold my disciple to a biblical standard. Sometimes I demonstrated a lack of assertiveness in a recurring area of sin or jumped to judgment too quickly in a minor problem area. I should have prayed for godly discernment and followed the Spirit’s lead.
- A lack of vision gives the follower nothing to strive for. If done correctly, setting growth-goals for the individual being discipled can be helpful. I failed to challenge those I was discipling to keep growing after a successful week, often times leading them in complacency.
Those are just five, but I am sure I’ve had more blunders. If you have made mistakes and want to help us out by sharing, please do so in the comments.