I have the privilege to be in a class at college this semester that is focused on discipleship. Pretty cool, right? That’s one of the perks of studying ministry in college—I get to read books and write papers on things like spiritual disciplines and how to make disciples and teach the Bible. It’s pretty amazing, actually. I feel like I would be hogging all this wonderful information, however, if I were to absorb it all in and then never share any of it, so I have decided to do something a little out of the ordinary for the next few blog posts.
For my discipleship class, I have an assignment to write six leadership blogs, as I might in the future if I help to lead a student ministry with volunteer leaders. Theoretically, these would be sent out to small group leaders to help them grow in their leadership. However, I did not want to write these blogs to imaginary people for no one to read but wanted to write practical and helpful posts for anyone in a ministry leadership role to read. Even if you’re not currently leading a small group or serving in a leadership role at your church, all the principles from these next six blogs still apply to you now and in the future, as many of them are about developing yourself to be a better disciple and disciple-maker!
I wanted to base this whole series off of a passage of Scripture that has so many powerful leadership lessons in it, so read 1 Timothy 4:7-16 (emphasis mine) with me:
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Paul wrote these words to Timothy, a younger believer he was discipling and teaching to lead the church. While Timothy was younger and less-experienced, because he had the Spirit of God inside of him, he was qualified to lead in the church, just as you are today if you’ve given your life to Christ. However, leadership, just like our walks with Christ, is something that we should never stop growing in. It is a life-long process of becoming more like Christ by putting others first and learning to love and shepherd them better. There are skills we can develop by learning from those who have gone before us or those who have practiced something for longer than us.
While I may not have decades of experience in ministry, I have over seven years of leading in children’s and youth ministries and a lot of academic ministry training that I hope you can benefit from over the next six days. With that said, be on the lookout for one blog a day and get ready to grow!