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In our lives as Christians, we are running a marathon, not a sprint. Discipleship is a
process, not just a series of classes that we will complete and thereby be discipled.
Children force their parents to live for others, be patient, think long-term, seek the
grace of God, and be wise.
The problem with growing in Christ is the same as growing up as kids; we keep
thinking we are approaching the finish line, only to discover there is another starting
line. We are in a life-long process. No one curriculum, teaching series, or teacher can
walk any one of us, much less an entire church, to maturity in Christ. We need
diversity, variety, and a multiplicity of gifts, personalities, and experiences. That’s
why cell groups help address the complexity of the discipleship process.

2. Interaction
Relationships- Dr. Larry Crabb says, “ Relationships have a power for living that
nothing else can provide.” People working through life together.
Humans are created to be relational in every stage of life. If we don’t know how to do
this well in the church, how can we ever hope to do it well in society?
God is one, but He is also three persons existing in unique relationship.
Too much is said about the “systems” of the church, and not enough is said of the
love of the church.

3. Multifaceted
Our church has people walking through every stage of life, experiencing every
possible emotion. On any given Sunday, there will be someone who is the happiest
they have ever been sitting next to one who is struggling through the worst
depression. Discipleship must be as multifaceted as the people we are descipling! Use
the power of freedom. Let people have the opportunity to relate to a small group that
can receive them where they are at, raise them up and release them to minister!
People need to be allowed to follow the stream of God’s divine nature, sometimes it
might lead to fishing together, sharing a good book, a cup of coffee, it could lead to a
hospital room, outreach, or a mission trip.
People reach people-systems serve people.

4. Lifelong
The average family in America will move seven times in a lifetime.
It seems that people change jobs, cities, spouses, and children the way they change
clothes. Our society does not produce connected people.
We need to do everything we can to connect people and help them develop stable,
honorable lives. They need joy and security.
We need to develop a community of empowerment filled with love and compassion.
A life long commitment to disciple others. A lifestyle of discipleship.

5. Christlikeness
The most important ingredient of discipleship is Christlikeness. The core of discipleship
is making people more like Jesus.
The failure of many “Discipleship ministries” is the tendency to want to bring people to
themselves, standardize them, homogenize them and package them to sell. The only
problem with that is we are dealing with people not eggnog! People expect eggnog to
taste like eggnog; people on the other hand are different. What works on one, fails on
another. What appeals to one, bores another.
Jesus went to people. He found them where they were, for better or for worse. To be
Christlike means among other things, to serve people wherever they are, to go where they
are and bring Christ to them.
I have little doubt that people questioned if touching lepers, eating with tax collectors,
and fishing with guys, were the most effective ways to disciple others.
We all face the challenge of integrating biblical principles into every portion of our lives
so that all that we do (including our hobbies) have spiritual significance.
Discipleship is not a linear process. A to B to C, etc. They may start on A but their dad
comes home drunk and they have an H issue that causes them to have an L discussion
with the understanding of an A. It means we must have a way to disciple people in the
midst of their walk, in the center of their interests, moving them in the direction of God’s
perfect plan for their lives.