How Do Intentional Leaders Look for the NEXT Disciple?Chad Merrell - Lead Pastor | North Rock Hill Church - Rock Hill, SC
Recently, a small group leader asked, “How do I know who I am supposed to disciple?”. I happened to be in a room where there were multiple group leaders and experienced disciple makers, so I asked… “What do you guys think?”
As we discussed the question, more questions arose. But a theme also to emerge. These intentional leaders wanted to answer the question, “How do I know who is NEXT?”. The questions came from a shared heart. Each person felt called to make disciples. They have been making disciples. There were both wins and fails in the stories they shared. But from the newest to the most seasoned, they all shared some version of the same question: “How do I look for the NEXT disciple?”
Here are 5 questions that came to light through that discussion. These are useful to help us discern who’s NEXT:
- LOOK AROUND! And ask, “WHO IS IT THAT KEEPS CROSSING MY PATH?”
We love to use the expression, “wow, it’s a small world” to explain the so-called chance encounters in our lives. But the truth is, the world is big, and there are literally trillions of people in it! When a name keeps popping up, or you keep meeting that “random” person in places you don’t remember seeing them before, it could be that God has placed someone in your path for you to build a relationship, that leads to discipleship. How aware are you of the people that sovereign God is placing in your path? How intentional are you being in praying for opportunity to engage them and build that relationship.
- LISTEN CLOSELY! And ask, “WHO IN MY LIFE IS SHOWING CURIOSITY ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS?”
I truly believe that curiosity is a spiritual discipline. Curiosity is a compulsion toward learning, and an inquisitive spirit that is seeking answers and perspective. What kind of questions are the people in your life asking? Does their curiosity invite you to share your story? Share new truth? Share new habits? If so, it may be time to view this relationship as a discipleship relationship!
- REFLECT! And ask, “WHOSE STORY SOUNDS A LOT LIKE MINE?”
I’ve been amazed at God’s ability to redeem my story. Over and again, he walks people into my life who are walking through circumstances similar to what I walked through in the past. These conversations tend to start with a sentence like, “you may not understand any of this but….” Followed by their version of my story! I am amazed at God’s ability to redeem even the most regrettable circumstances of my life to be useful in discipling others who are walking through similar circumstances.
- ASSESS OTHERS! And ask, “WHO HAS GOD GRANTED ME RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT NEEDS TO TAKE A NEXT STEP?”
We often overthink things, don’t we? I regularly take people to their first college baseball game, or their first hunting or fishing trip. They come with me, simply because I asked them. Sometimes, God has someone in your life that just simply needs to be asked. That person you are frustrated with, who always is bringing you a problem, or sharing their disappointments… that person that constantly is picking up the conversation where you left off yesterday… That person who loves your advice about parenting or about leadership or about how to cure a vicious slice off the tee… What if you just asked them if they would want to keep talking about things that really matter.
- ASSESS SELF! And ask, “AM I PRAYING DAILY FOR GOD TO SHOW ME WHO IS NEXT?”
I find that God is eager to answer my prayer for opportunities to do what He has already told me to do. I also find that when I am praying for God to show me who is next, I am way more apt to see that person when they emerge. When someone keeps popping up in my life who doesn’t know Jesus, I don’t need to pray to ask God to reveal His will for me…Truth is, I already know, and I need to share the gospel with that person! Sometimes, we are so busy trying to get God to show what to do, that we forget he has already told us.. God can’t wait to show you how He is already arranging your life for you to obey in what He has already asked you to do!
Ask the right question., Look around. Listen. Reflect and Assess. Then, be willing to Do Your Part!
One thing is for sure, God in His Sovereignty has uniquely gifted and placed each of us among a unique circle of people for the purposes of loving them and making disciples! Our unique stories and experiences grant us a unique opportunity to both find and make the NEXT Disciple!
North Rock Hill Church
Rock Hill, SC
RDN Team Member
We’re Stronger Together!