By Jim Feiker and Steve Meeker
This blog is a combination of thoughts from Jim and Steve based off of Steve's mentor, Jim's original article "The Mentor's Magnet - A Life Manifesting Christ."
So what is the magnet in a disciple maker's life that draws people to learn how to walk with Jesus Christ? It is not our spiritual gifts, our experience or our great ministry skills. It is the very nature, character, and fragrance of God’s presence in our lives.
It is Christ resident within us, living His life in us and reflecting His life through us. God-scented people are at every stage of life - still growing, still vibrant and fragrant, still fruitful, still proclaiming God’s presence and character, drawing out others into a closer relationship with Christ.
While mentoring, you may have faced doubts, thoughts of inadequacy, and a lack of confidence floods the heart only to face head-on the question, “Do I really have what it takes to disciple others?”
Yes, here is when a discipler’s life is thrown back onto the potter’s wheel of Scripture and once again reshaped with God’s gentle hands and His word to take these earthen vessels and remind us the work is not ours it is His.
As only a loving Father can do, He takes these times of struggle and produces in the life of the mentor an increased desire to grow as His child and to love more deeply those He has given us to care for as they develop in relationship with Him.
Memories of the impact mentoring has made in my life and the countless lives of believers I know from around the world renew a commitment to keep going, learning and giving so others may grow in their love for Jesus.
Disciple making requires, no, it demands we continue with the heart of a learner. Why? Because discipling is an art form, in that everyone is uniquely different, and God is working in his or her life in a distinct way. We are only channels and dispensers of God’s grace to others.
Most of what we learn about discipling comes from trial and error and from God’s unique shaping of our lives. Everyone’s disciple making style is different, based on his or her gifting, capacity, personality, and vision.
Your discipling will reflect how God has shaped you, but it always must begin by abiding in Jesus (John 15:1-5). Only then will you be effective in going and making disciples as you draw close to Him so your character and life may reflect the heart of a Christ-follower committed to the Great Commission.
Success in discipling is quite opposite of the world’s view of success. It is not selfishly driven, but Christ focused and an overflowing of His life in us to others. God is not interested in perfect disciplers, but in those who are progressing in their growth. Progressing, not perfect, character models is God’s desire that He will use to point others to follow after Him (1 Timothy 4:15).
If we wait until we are perfect, we will never make a strategic investment of our lives into people. It is not our skills, experiences, or degrees, that make the significant difference, it is our character. It has been said that the crisis in today’s leadership, is a crisis of character, and the crisis of character is a crisis of being deeply rooted into God.
Consider your steps wisely and take time to plug in and depend on Jesus for only then will you be able to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19a).