Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the month “February, 2016”

More Practical 1-2-1 Discipling Ideas

The following is a list of very practical ideas that will help you be more effective as well as helping you enjoy discipling another individual. You may want to study the passage listed after each idea.

1. Major on being an encourager. As you listen, ask yourself what you can encourage them about.   Hebrews 10:24-25

2. Realize that you are entering into a life-long friendship. Your relationship will be foundational to all you hope to do.    Proverbs 17:17

3. Make sure you are well prepared. Get organized before you spend time with another. Go over the passages and illustrations you hope to share, making sure you are familiar with them. Know the context of the verses you use.   2 Timothy 2:15

4. Set the pace. You can’t take someone farther than you have gone yourself. You can’t build solidly into someone else what is weak or unfamiliar in your own life.  Philippians 4:9

5. Modeling is the key to reproducing your life. More things are caught than taught. Be transparent with those you are helping.  Share your weaknesses and struggles as well as your strengths and victories.   1 Timothy 3:10-11

6. Repeat all things. Make no apologies for going over familiar ground. The basics are basic; keep hitting the basics.    Philippians 3:1

7. Don’t “dump the truck” (i.e. tell them everything you know). Teach them only what they need to know now.   John 16:1-14

8. Take them with you as much as possible. Many lasting impressions are made during discussions in the car or during recreation together.   Mark 3:14

9. Treat them like an adult. Don’t talk down to them. Share with them as a friend.   1 Peter 5:1-3

10. Fit your follow-up plans to the person, not the person to the program. Be flexible.  Meet their needs as well as build into their life.  Don’t spend all your time “putting out fires.”  Think structured building into another’s life, but beware of the “assembly line mentality”.   1 Corinthians 3:9-10

11. Always focus on Christ and relate all you do together to knowing Him or making Him known.  Point them to Jesus.   Hebrews 12:2

12. Communicate an attitude of acceptance and love. Be their fan.  Be their friend.   John 13:34-35

Discipling another individual is a great privilege and challenge. As we invest in the lives of individuals like Steve, we will see them growing to maturity in the Lord and they in turn helping others. Paul referred to himself as a “fellow worker” with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He also called himself an “expert builder” (1 Corinthians 3:10) of people. May we all seek to be expert people builders, building others up in the faith to the point where they can in turn help others.

Practical 1-2-1 Discipling

I began to work with Steve on a weekly basis, helping to build the basics of the Christian life into his life. Just as a builder comes to the building site with a plan, I too planned beforehand what I desired to share with Steve at each meeting.

These follow up plans consisted of short bible lessons related to the topic I had planned to share. I had previously done a bible study on the topic and summarized this study into a short lesson that I could impart to another individual. Each lesson consisted of a motivation section (a verse, quote, example) to help build anticipation for the topic and then the lesson, a few verses related to the given topic. Whenever possible I tried to share from one central passage rather than multiple verses in different bible books. Examples would be: servanthood – John 13, love – 1 Corinthians 13, faith – Hebrews 11, or the Lordship of Christ – Luke 14:25-35.

Once compiled, these follow up plans are saved for future opportunities to share with others that the Lord may bring into my life. I collect these follow up plans in a follow up notebook. Then when the Lord brings others into my life that He would have me to help, I’m ready with ideas on how to begin.

Just as a builder must start with a foundation, I wanted to lay a solid foundation in Steve’s life. We worked on such foundational topics as assurance of salvation, quiet time, prayer, Scripture memory, meditation, obedience, witnessing, fellowship, and the importance of God’s Word. After being assured that the foundation was solid, I began to help Steve in other areas of his life, seeking to build on top of this solid foundation.

These ‘superstructure’ of the building that I was seeking to construct in Steve’s life, by God’s grace and with His help, consisted of three general areas: doctrine (used in the broadest sense of knowledge of God’s Word), character, and ministry (the ability to personally help others).

When discipling another, be sure to have the mindset of a builder, not a doctor.  The doctor mentality waits for the ‘patient’ to describe their latest symptoms and then dispenses some ‘spiritual medicine.’  This attitude only builds increasing dependence upon the doctor.  But a builder proactively builds into the life of another seeking to build dependence upon Christ instead of themselves.

Be a disciplemaking builder, not a doctor!

Leave Your Nets

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus recruited the busy and the successful. Note that both sets of brothers were actively engaged in their jobs when Jesus encountered them. They were fishing partners (Luke 5:10) along with the father of James and John. And it seems that they were good fishermen as they had formed a limited partnership and had hired employees.

Just because they had an established career and no doubt expectations from father Zebedee that his boys would take over for him one day, Jesus did not hesitate to ask them to leave that vocation and join Him in a new one. If we are not careful, we can fall into thinking that the busy and successful, or those with clear professional career paths, should not be recruited to staff roles, either full-time or associate. We must not hesitate to recruit those whom God is calling out of a fear of taking them from a lucrative job.

Navigator staff is not for everyone. Certainly we need many, many more conventional income laborers to see our Calling fulfilled and the movement advance into all the nations. But for some, becoming a full-time, vocational Navigator is the right thing. Our job is to simply ask them to prayerfully consider whether God would have them to leave their nets and come with us. Some will be called by God to do so. It’s a high calling and a great privilege to become a Navigator staff person.

So who is it that God has placed in front of you that you should be asking to prayerfully consider leaving their nets and coming to co-labor with us?

Bold Prayer Requests

Jesus encourages us to make bold requests. He says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11). In other words, because God loves us and wants what is best for us, He will not give us something that would be harmful or detrimental for us. He loves us too much for that.

Suppose one of my three children came to me and said, “Dad, I’d like you to give me a stick of dynamite for my birthday.” How would I respond? Obviously, I would not give it to them because of the danger. Having been refused, they continue to plead saying, “But I really, really want the dynamite, Dad! Please get me some!” Though they would ask me a thousand times (even with fasting) I would not give them what they wanted.

Why not? Well, not because I’m not capable or because I don’t want to meet their requests. The reason I don’t give them what they ask for is because I love them too much to give them something that could be harmful for them. Jesus says, if we who are evil and fallen in our natures can show that kind of reasoning and love, how much more will the love of our heavenly Father prevent Him from answering a request with something that will bring us harm.

James 4:3 says, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” If we are seeking something with wrong motives, James says that we won’t get it. That is all; God will say, “Sorry, but the answer to that request is ‘no.’” He does not add, “And I will teach you never to ask for something like that again, you terrible person!” We simply won’t get what we request.

So pray and ask boldly!  But, always with the attitude that I submit my desires and will to His desires and will for me for I trust Him to always do what’s best for me.

Concerns When Claiming Promises

A legitimate concern when claiming promises in prayer is the fear of putting God to the test. We remember Jesus’ rebuke of Satan when tempting Him to throw Himself off the highest point of the temple. The devil then quotes a promise (Psalm 91:11-12), implying that no harm will come to Jesus because of God’s promised care. Jesus rebukes Satan by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16 saying, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

It would seem that our attitude is a key factor in whether we are praying in faith or demanding something from God and violating the command not to put God to the test. For, there are passages where the Lord encourages us to take Him up on His promises, to test them and see if they are true. In Malachi 3:10 He says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

When claiming promises in prayer, we are not seeking to bind God in some solemn oath, forcing Him to act according to our own desires as the devil was seeking to do when tempting Jesus. Rather, we come to Him in humility and reverence, acknowledging His Lordship over us and His right to act as He pleases. We come asking Him and pleading with Him to fulfill His promises, not demanding that He perform according to our wishes. God will not “jump through our hoops” like some trained circus animal, no matter how advantageous we may think the answers are for the advance of the Kingdom. We cannot purposely place ourselves in desperate situations and expect the Lord to deliver us. He will not be forced by us into acting a certain way. Yet, if we do find ourselves placed into desperate circumstances, we can confidently claim the promises of God for peace, strength, protection, etc. knowing that He will watch over us and care for us.

Another concern when claiming promises relates to Psalm 106:14-15: “In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them.” The fear is that perhaps the promises we are praying over and claiming are actually desires arising from our flesh. Perhaps in diligently praying over these promises God will answer, even though He knows that in answering according to my desires the answer will be harmful or not beneficial for me. Or perhaps the Lord will give me the desires of my flesh, but in doing so also punish me for my wrong motives

At first glance that is what seemed to happen to the Israelites. It would appear that they wearied God by their constant complaining about a lack of meat and having worn down His resistance to answer, God finally relented and sent an abundance of quail. But, along with the quail, He also sent a disease that killed many of them; a kind of object lesson not to ask for your desires, for you may get more than you ask for! But is this what really happened?

In Psalm 78:17-31 we find another recounting of the same incident. It says, “they willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved” (:18); the Israelites challenged God’s ability to provide for them in the midst of the desert and it says that “they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance” (:22). In response to their sinful attitudes it says, “He rained meat down on them like dust, flying birds like sand on the seashore. He made them fall inside their camp, all around their tents. They ate till they had more than enough, for he had given them what they craved. But before they turned from the food they craved, even while it was still in their mouths, God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel” (:27-31). Thus, we see that it was their sinful, demanding attitudes that brought the wrath of God on them, not the request itself.

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