Jesus’ Good News is that eternal life —
life with God and for God,
life under God’s care and life by God’s power — is available now.
If you want that life … become a disciple —
a student, an apprentice, a follower — of Jesus.
Simply put, discipleship is the means by which we learn to live the life that Jesus offers.
Christianity was never intended to produce Christians.
~ John Ortberg
After college, I went to work at a fairly large church. While there, I oversaw a discipleship program for kids. I worked there for 5 years. Eventually, after I got married and had my first baby, I decided to try working from home.
After college, I went to work at a fairly large church. While there, I oversaw a discipleship program for kids. I worked there for 5 years. Eventually, after I got married and had my first baby, I decided to try working from home. This awesome church gave me the task of writing a new discipleship curriculum for children.
For an entire year, I worked on this project. Every moment that wasn’t filled with changing diapers and attending to my newborn was spent working on this huge endeavor. I remember each evening my husband would come home from work, and I’d pass my baby to him and leave for the coffee shop. I was exhausted from days of mothering, but also determined, prayerful, and seeking wisdom. I consulted experts. A team was formed. We read books and books. We researched and sought the Lord’s guidance. I even attended seminary classes during this time. I was surviving on God’s grace and lots of coffee!
This curriculum was extensive. It took me an entire year to produce. It included crafts and stories and object lessons…It was an intentional approach to discipleship—teaching kids how to read the Bible, how to grow in their faith, and then equipping them to serve in ministry.
It was finally published, and it’s now been reproduced and used in churches all over the world.
I left that influential church and served in other churches. I even moved to Europe (you can read more about that here) …It’s been 15 years. But life has brought me back to this same church in California. I’ve started working in this very same discipleship program again. Kids in this program have grown up, things have changed. Much of what I imagined in those early years looks different now.
But here’s the best part! Do you know what’s stayed the same? The leaders. The adults who are committed to discipling children. The mentors who give their time to BE THERE with kids, to walk with them through life’s ups and downs. These heroes who give their time weekly to make a difference in the world by discipling the next generation.
This is what I’ve come to know. It’s not really about the curriculum at all! It’s about the leaders, those who show up week after week after week. Those adults have walked with children through sickness, parent’s divorces, bullies at school, accomplishments, and injuries. It’s the leaders. God uses them to reproduce disciples. Discipleship is about learning to live and walk like Jesus. And there’s no better way to learn this than to see a follower of Jesus in action.
- Leader at church
- Sunday school teacher
- Aunt & Uncle
- Grandma & Grandpa
- Mama—this is YOU!
YOU are your child’s most important disciple-maker! When you live your life grounded in the word of God, when you follow Jesus with your life, when you walk with others in this journey—you are making disciples.
You are making a difference.
You are changing the world!
2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)
- Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
Colossians 1:28–29 (NIV)
- He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
- Let’s reflect on who we are intentionally discipling. Are there a couple kids or people that come to mind?
- Along those same lines, who is further along in their faith who can disciple us? We are never too old to learn and grow!
Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions: Why Children Should Be Your Church’s #1 Priority. By George Barna
Guest Author and FLC Team Member
Holly and her husband Rob have just moved back to her hometown in California, after living for 4 years in Germany. While there, she met people from all over the world. While she loved her travels, she is happy to be home, doing familiar things again like taking her son to soccer and her daughter to volleyball. Holly contributes to our monthly ScriptSub and has known Erika and Becky since their college days in Chicago.