Two Things A Disciple Of Jesus Cannot Be Without

Instagram phone

With the incredible advances in technology over the last few years,  we now have a myriad of ways for people to stay connected. Phone call, text message, email, facebook message – it seems that we know more about the details of each others lives than we ever have before. We share what we had for lunch and what we are reading, we share our opinions and thoughts about movies, candidates and elections.

Surprisingly, although we are technically more ‘connected’ with each other than any other time in history, we are still a society of people experiencing relational poverty. We have every opportunity to connect to each other, but for the most part it is a surface connection. Like a carefully staged Instagram post, we share only what we believe will show us in the best light, with the best ‘filter’.

While many Christians have bought into the idea that they can ‘do’ Christianity by themselves, that is not what God intended for the life of a believer. While they try to stay connected to God, they ignore His design to be connected to others. Meanwhile, they are dying on the inside because no one truly knows them, and seemingly no one cares. Worse yet, they are not growing as disciples and are unable to fulfill Christ’s command (Matt. 28:18-20).

Jesus indicated in Mark 12:29-31 that to completely fulfill God’s commands you need two categories of relationships. First, you must be in relationship (connected) with God. Second, you will be in relationship, (connected) with your neighbor. Both of these connections are vital – and it is impossible to grow to a deeper level of Spiritual Maturity without them.

Connect Wheel

There is a bond that believers share as part of God’s family, and a strength that comes from being connected with each other on a deeper level. Jesus continually modeled and promoted connection with others. He didn’t just meet with his disciples one-on-one for an hour a week; He also brought them into a small group of twelve to do life together. This group was inseparable for three years. The level at which Jesus’ disciples connected together in a group illustrates the value Jesus placed on in-depth relationships. Though we may not be able to spend 24/7 with those we disciple, we must be in relationship with them at a deeper level than just a weekly meeting.

Disciple making was never meant to be simply a transfer of information. It was meant to be done in the context of relationship. Deep relationships are where we can be transparent, vulnerable, and honest – they are where we develop and share accountability with each other. And they can be the glue that helps us hang on through the tough times in our walk through this life.

‘If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.’ 1 John 1:8

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You can find out more about Relational Discipleship in the Real Life Discipleship Training Manual

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