What Relational Discipleship Is, and Is Not!

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Disciple, Discipleship, great commission, Mentor, mentoring
Simply put, relational discipleship is having intentional conversations with others, living out our lives in Christ as we get to know someone. It is getting past the “how’s the weather” small talk and getting to the “how are you really doing” questions. Early on it may only be the small talk conversations as you get to know each other, but eventually the conversations go deeper when trust is built. This week, at your normal stops (gas station, lunch location, neighborhood, work, etc.) talk to the people you converse with daily, and ask the next question: “how are YOU doing “. If the answer is “fine”, ask, “how are you REALLY doing?” I am amazed at how many times that extra question gets answered so differently when they know you really care. After some time, you may add, “is there anything I can pray for you this week?” Then make certain that you pray and follow up! This is a great way to begin caring for someone in a relational mentoring way!
Now for what relational mentoring is not: These conversations can NEVER be built around gossip, rumors, dissention, strife, etc. (again, all deeds of the flesh from Satan). The goal for mentoring someone is to bring them into a deeper relationship with God, and God does not mix with sin! Our conversations must model who Jesus is and never be a place to put up stumbling blocks for either the person to whom you are talking or even for yourself (Luke 17:1-2).

We have all seen the destructive nature of gossip, rumors, etc. Bottom line: this is sin! When we, the Church, spread these lies from Satan, we reflect the world not God. I take that back…we look worse than the world because we have a model in Christ that has given us the Godly way to handle conflict. The world then calls the Church a bunch of hypocrites! Matthew 18:15 tells us how to handle a brother/sister we feel is caught up in sin. When we have a problem with someone, and feel that they are sinning, we are to go to them in private and discuss it with that person. The only time we are to bring others into this conversation is if the person is caught in sin and refuses to listen to the one that confronted them. A disciple, as well as one mentoring others, must remember that Jesus commanded us to not only make disciples, but to teach them all that He has commanded. We cannot do that if we are caught up in spreading dissention. God and sin do not mix!

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