Discipleship is a key function within the Church. It is how the faith is passed on from one generation to another, and how we ensure that good doctrine and a righteous worldview are safeguarded for the future. For many years, there has been much talk about discipling the Millennial generation. But now the oldest Millennials are about to turn forty and many have their own families. It’s past time for Millennials to be thinking about how to disciple the next generation for Christ.
Discipleship is very near to the hearts of everyone on the Engage team, and so this will be an ongoing conversation for a while. But here are a handful of some things to remember and consider as we begin to mentor and make disciples ourselves.
Be patient. Generations within the church have much more in common than not, so overlook non-essential differences in tastes and interests. It can be too easy to dismiss someone based on their youth or lack of maturity, but remember that God does not dismiss you when you lack or falter in your walk. Be patient with your disciple as Jesus was with His.
Be honest but respectful. Gently help others discover where their ideas or worldview may be lacking. When you pass on the teachings of the Bible, it should be done warmly and with love.
Avoid the temptation to patronize. Treat those younger and older how you want to be treated. Remember that you are not better than they, and are in just as much need of grace and mercy. Treat one another as equals with humility, and do not assume an attitude of superiority to them.
Give younger Christians a chance to prove themselves by assigning responsibilities where appropriate and under reasonable oversight. The best part of discipleship is when the disciple works alongside the mentor.
Always point to Jesus Christ. Don’t just tell one another how to behave and what to believe – with your example, show others Who to follow.