Discipleship | Part 4

June 24, 2009 — 3 Comments

Other posts in the series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Process Continued

Demonstration

As individuals are involved in my life and ministry, they are able to see how I am engaging in these disciplines myself, and applying them to life and ministry.  The consistent feedback I’ve gotten is that discipleship is more “caught, than taught”, and this happens through demonstrating a faithful life of obedience.  This means that I am inviting individuals into my daily routine and demonstrating how I manage my life, that I am inviting people into my preparation for a teaching session so they can see how I teach, that I am inviting them into my home so they can see how I discipline my children.  I want my disciples to know the people I am spending time with and reaching out to, and watch how I interact.

Delegation

This is a necessary component of discipleship, and I think the piece that most naturally will develop replication at the end.  The reason delegation is important is because it leads to ownership of real decisions.

I generally like to hand over ministry early, as it provides an excellent learning opportunity.  In my opinion, people learn best in a “sink or swim” opportunity, and it also provides a great opportunity for supervision and feedback.

Supervision

Supervision is less about management and primarily about giving ownership and providing feedback.  Empowerment is the end game, and therefore my aim is to not create dependency, but create opportunity for ownership.

I think the hardest part of supervision is not encouragement, but speaking difficult corrections and rebukes when they are needed.  Most of us are conflict-avoiders, so our natural tendency is to shy away from correction, but I genuinely believe nothing could be more crippling to a disciples development than being convinced they are doing things perfectly when they are not.  It is irresponsible to avoid difficult conversations because it hamstrings the development of a person.

Reproduction

I expect the reproduction process to begin early on.  If 2 Timothy 2:2 is the pattern, my faithfulness to the gospel is directly linked to the faithfulness of individuals whom I disciple.

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

3 responses to Discipleship | Part 4

  1. Todd – I just got to read through this. THANK YOU for writing this. Part 4 is my favorite – this is helpful. Thanks for writing this, and thank you for LIVING this. I am blessed by you and ‘Liv!

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