Making Disciples in Your Organization

“…Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
John 4:38

You say you’re the leader and your followers should just “shut up and follow you.” Here’s a question for you, Leader. Have you taught them how to follow? Let’s examine the transforming aspects of discipling. Leader, you don’t see the point in discipling anyone. Why should you care? Before we explore mentoring, let’s play with a few allegories. In Star Wars, Yoga instructs young Skywalker in the ways of the Jedi Knight—that’s discipling. Batman and Robin team up to crack down on notorious villains; Batman is mentoring Robin for Superhood. Bell, mentoring expert, defines mentoring as the “act of helping another learn.” While discipling involves character building, the focus of mentoring is skill development.

You say you got an organization to run and not time for a religious lesson. Let’s see. The right discipling process can change our biases, prejudices, and our culture paradigms. Adsit, an expert on discipleship, explains that a disciple is someone who learns by practicing the concept or teaching, resulting in a lifestyle change. Discipling is the process that grows a disciple. Discipling is about character building and changing lives. Let’s look at an application.

For just a minute, allow me to use a biblical principle. Jesus takes a journey to Samaria (Bible, reference John 4:4-44). He sits near Jacob’s well—waiting. He meets a Samaritan woman and asks for a drink of water. To the naked eye, it’s another cute bible story, but to the most inquisitive mind, it’s more. Why in the world would Jesus want to meet a fallen Samaritan woman? This meeting was not only about bringing salvation to all—it was also about discipling. What would the disciples think about Jesus’ actions, especially Peter? Let’s look closer. The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan Woman broke down barriers of religion, race, gender, and social class. Did it change lives? Yes, discipling turned the world upside down. You can also transform your organization.

Likewise, organizations need to instruct their followers in such a way that it becomes part of their lives. You teach them so that they will do the right things even when you are not around. Here are some steps in making disciples of your followers:

• Conduct organizational orientation with every new follower.
• Communicate your organization’s values and beliefs.
• Recognize followers for doing the right things.
• Take a personal interest in each person’ spiritual development.
• Ask followers for their input.
• Set the proper moral examples as a leader.

Unfortunately, many leaders don’t practice what they preach because they fail to understand the principles of leadership. Don’t make the same mistake. Discipling goes beyond any spiritual context. It’s about teaching followers to do the right things. Discipling is effective. Don’t wait to late to use it. Start today!

References

Adsit, C. (2005). Go and Make What. Disciplemakers, International, Retrieved October 4, 2005, from http://www.milmin.com/resources/discipleship/gomakewhat.htm

Bell (2002) . Managers as Mentors. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler’s Publishers, Inc.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green

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