By Paul Tripp
Discipleship isn’t simply an aspect of ministry within a church. Discipleship is the ministry of the church. This is what Christ has called the church to do. Discipleship is how we share the Word of God and grow the body of Christ.
Three Questions to Ask
Every discipler should ask three key questions about their discipleship.
- Why do people do the things they do? When your ministry is loving other people, it is important to understand the motivation behind their actions.
- How does lasting change take place in a person’s life? When you truly love someone, you’re going to want to see not only their actions change but their heart change as well.
- How can I be a tool of change in the life of someone else? DIscipleship is about personal heart and life change.
What’s inside a person shapes their words and behaviors more than what’s outside of them. If you begin to believe that what you do is not really formed by what’s inside of you, but by what’s outside of you, then you aren’t truly interested in personal change. So many people don’t realize their need for discipleship because they don’t understand God’s Word or think they’re responsible for the things they do.
Luke 6:43-45 talks about how what comes out of your mouth stems from what is rooted inside of you. You live out of your heart. It is the very core of your personhood, and this means that the most dangerous thing in your life exists inside of you. Because of this, it is important to realize that change needs to occur inside of you, not outside of you.
Discipleship must always be aimed at the heart, not the mind. If your heart doesn’t change, you cannot expect your behavior to change. Jesus came to create heart change.
A Model for Discipleship
I encourage you to adapt the “love, know, speak, do” model. Love is building a relationship with someone that becomes an open door for change. Know is going beyond a casual friendship to truly knowing someone’s heart. Speak refers to helping that person see the change that is needed. Do focuses on implementing the change that has been realized in someone’s everyday life.
Jesus came to transform the thoughts, desires, and motives of your heart, not just your outward actions. He has equipped you with every tool you need for heart change. And when your heart is changed, everything else about your life will change as well.