Over the the next two weeks I will be interviewing a pastor and one other lay leader within the church to ask them and to gain inOvsight on their experience with disciplining. It’s a topic that I find essential within the Kingdom of God. I believe strongly that we are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ ourselves, i.e. a follower, an apprentice, a student, etc. However, according to Matthew 28:18-20, it explains how we are also instructed to make other disciples for Jesus Christ. Essentially, we are to be disciples who make disciples. Through this first interview you will see how one pastor pursues this calling.
I chose to interview a close family friend who is currently taking on the incredible task of planting churches within one of the most unchurched parts of the world; Western Europe. I asked Pastor Nick Klinkenberg four general questions about discipling. I found that these questions brought about a couple more questions to ask that would take it a bit deeper. Here is the interview.
1. What is your process for making disciples?
“First I make sure to spend time with them and to make sure there is a commitment from them to spend time with me. Without this connection and devotion we can only go so far.”
What qualifies someone to be a disciple?
“There has to be an absolute urgency to learn and follow Jesus Christ. They must recognize their need and dependence for Him in their life.”
What does a typical "getting together" look like?
“Mostly one on one. Sometimes we’ll get together with others and pray.”
“I’ve found that it’s important to give them tasks to do before you give them a role; to see if they are sincere and reliable. I'm hearing them pray, speak, get them to read books…etc”
“Most importantly to understand is that it’s not a program; it’s a relational connection that I am leading.”
How long will you stay with someone if no results are seen?
“At that point I move into the pastoral role. I'll love them and pastor them. I'll do what I can for them, but if they aren’t showing signs of effort and commitment, then I have to realize that my time is better used with someone who will put forth the effort"
2. What is the biggest challenge you face in making disciples?
“People are happy to talk about the word, pray and discuss, but to get them involved with what the church is doing can be a challenge.
3. What are some ways you equip people for ministry?
“I give them books to read, I challenge them to put the Word into action. Give them tasks to do. Ask them specifically, What are you praying, how are you praying, what are you praying? What are you reading, how much, what are you reading. Are you journaling? The objective is to build them up by leading them.”
4. How do you measure your effectiveness?
“I ask myself who is on the team? Is this person onboard with the direction of the church and getting involved somehow in the church.”
“I look for who they are regularly connecting with, whether it is people of positive influence in their life or not.”
“I look for their personal growth, to see whether or not they are moving forward with what we've talked about, improving in situations, making an effort to be more like Christ.”
What are the rewards for you?
“The Bible is made for transformation. When I see people take the advice and guidance that I’ve learned from the Word and see them using it and putting it into action. It makes it all worth it.”