In youth discipleship, we have one primary example for what discipleship looks like. That example is Jesus and the way that He did life with His disciples. In this article we will do a quick overview of what this example means for us and focus on the key points that we can learn from Jesus when it comes to discipleship.
1. Discipleship starts with following Christ.- This is key. Not just anyone can be a disciple. You must actually first choose to give your life over to Jesus. This is what the disciples did. They chose to accept Jesus' invitation to follow Him. Then Jesus began to disciple them and show them what it truly means to be His follower. We must follow this example too and make sure that they understand that salvation comes first and then discipleship.
2. Discipleship is about relationships.- Youth Discipleship is a daily process of doing life together. As far as we can tell, Jesus spent every moment of everyday for three years with His disciples. This is true investment. This type of investment and relationship is what makes for teachable moments and true life change and is what we must strive for.
3. Discipleship is costly.- Following Christ will cost you everything but the cost is well worth it. The first disciples laid down everything to follow Jesus and we must do the same. This will not make sense to many people and will cause some to turn from Jesus as it did in scripture. But we must be willing to make these sacrifices and make sure that we hold others accountable to make these sacrifices as well.
4. Discipleship is a never ending process.- We will never fully develop as a follower of Christ. There is always work to be done, change to take place, and growth that needs to happen. And as we grow and change, we turn around and help others grow and change. This is what our lives are to be devoted to. We are to devote ourselves to growing in Christ and helping others do the same. This is what happened with the first disciples as they went out into the world and the church was born and this process continues through to today.
These are just a few of the characteristics that we learn from Jesus as he modeled discipleship for us. Hopefully you will follow His model as you embark on the journey of youth discipleship and hopefully you will see thousands of lives changed.
Youth discipleship is always an ongoing process. The problem is that many people look at youth disicpleship and are always looking towards the next scheduled meeting or bible study they have. But there are opportunities for disciplesihp all the time and we need to see and seize those opportunities. Look around you. Look at your students schedules and your schedules. What are your daily activities? Try to find ways that you can create moments for discipleship in those situations. Take people along with you on your errands. Have great conversations. Teach them about life and show them how their faith is lived out at all times. Look for object lessons even in the most mundane tasks. Whatever it is work hard to help your students see that the Christian life is happening all the time and show them how to live it.