This is Part 4 of a five-part friendship series.
You can catch all of the friendship articles by linking to them below:
I love mentoring.
I love one-on-one discipleship.
Truly, I love being trained and taught and equipped formally. And, I love being the one doing the training and equipping.
How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend
However, there are seasons when life just feels really busy, too busy to take the time to mentor someone else.
So, how do we “do” discipleship as busy women and men?
- What does it look like for that person who cannot take part in regular discipleship meetings?
- Can you still make disciples on the run and in the middle of the chaos of life?
- Can you still invest in the lives of others when your life is crazy and unpredictable?
I want to give you four (4) words you can use that come from the life of Jesus.
These 4 words will give you the HEART of your discipleship plan – the heart of your way investing in the lives of others.
“As they were going along the road,” someone said to Him (Jesus), “I will follow You wherever You go.”
And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
“Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi;” and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?”
They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”
Luke 24:13-24 The Road to Emmaus
“That same day two of them were walking to the village of Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.”
Our Challenge – “AS YOU ARE GOING” – we can invest in the lives of others and make disciples.
In the regular course and days of your life, you can train, teach, and instruct others to love Jesus.
How do you do this??
My favorite way to mentor and disciple is to use regular, everyday moments.
Jesus was the ultimate example of this technique. As they were walking outside and a flock of birds flew by, He would say, “Look at the birds of the air.”
He used things like the fig tree, the mountains, the wheat and the tares, and the lost coin. Jesus taught, trained, and mentored others using regular, everyday stuff.
What does it look like to use “Regular, Every Day Moments” and to share the love of Christ as you are going?
While walking with one of my neighbors, we had the chance to talk about our faiths. She was raised Muslim, and I asked her to tell me about her core beliefs. Then, she invited me to tell her about my faith.
This neighbor was never able to grasp the concept of “GRACE,” but she was quite intrigued by it.
I had the opportunity to invest in this young mom’s life while we made laps around the neighborhood.
Where do they usually happen??
Moments to mentor, train, and equip other women can happen anywhere!
At Work – you might have a great opportunity to share with a co-worker.
At Home – with your kids.
In your Neighborhood – while watering the yard or walking the dog.
At Church – I’ve had many great conversations in the hallway or even in the women’s restroom.
Or, at Exercise class – you can talk to a younger woman while walking on the treadmill next to hers.
At the Airport.
Even at Wal-Mart.
When do they usually happen??
Any time of day or night, moments to influence and impact can occur. Honestly, they usually happen at the most unusual times and in the most unusual ways.
For example, we’ve had some of the best discussions about life and important matters with our kids in the car. We’ve answered questions like: What about alcohol? What about tattoos? What about…?
How long do they last??
They can last several minutes…
I’ve had the chance to offer a good word or a little instruction to many women through email or on Facebook Messenger. Often, they send me a note asking what to do about their marriage, one of their children, or some other issue. For just a moment, I have the chance to pour into their lives.
Or, they can last several years…
For about two years, I walked in the morning with my precious younger friend Kelly. We just talked, laughed, and shared about our lives.
Eventually, Kelly and I both moved away from that neighborhood. But, I got to see her at an event recently.
She stopped me and told me, “I was a baby Christian when we met. You were the one who really mentored me and taught me how to grow in the Lord.” Now, she is on staff at a church!
I never knew. I just thought we were walking and talking.
How do you know what to say??
To effectively impact the men or women God has placed in your life, can I suggest a few steps of daily preparation?
1} Get Clean –
Empty yourself. Confess, forsake, give up, let go of your sin.
Daily get your heart right with the Lord.
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
2} Get your tank filled –
Fill up on Jesus – ask Him to fill you up so you have something to pour out.
Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”
Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.
(Fill My Cup, Lord, Hymn)
Romans 15:13 – “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Fill up on the Word. Open the Word and take in truth for the day.
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
4} Get out there!
Be ready and willing. Be open and available. Then, be on the lookout.
Hang your shingle – put it out for business!
Let the sign of your life read – “The light is on. This Christian is Spirit-filled. I’m open to talking to you today!”
Does this kind of discipleship work??
It’s been my joy to “do life” alongside many amazing friends. I’ve had the chance to invest in, pray with, teach, train, and befriend these women. Honestly, it’s been one of the greatest privileges in my life.
I have a number of favorites! Among them are three young friends who are all named “Jennifer.”
They are all ministry wives that God has sent into my life. Each is married to a pastor or a missionary husband, and each of these women deeply loves Jesus, their children, their husbands, and serving the Lord.
I’ve walked alongside each of these young women. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve prayed for them, I’ve given them great books to read, I’ve laughed with them, and I’ve cried with them.
Primarily, I’ve just loved them, and God has taken care of everything else.
And, He will do the same for you!
My CHALLENGE TO YOU is simple:
- GET CLEAN.
- GET FILLED UP WITH JESUS.
- Then, GET INTO THE WORD.
- GET OUT THERE AND BE READY!
Ask God to use you as you are going, as you are walking along.
He can and He will.
But, be warned… if you do this, you better put your seatbelt on.
It’s going to be a wild ride!
How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend
Were you encouraged today?
Would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?
Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?
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