Next week we will gather with family and friends and thank God for turkey, sweet potato casserole and the many other blessings he has given us. We might even thank Him for the lessons we have learned during this bizarre year. I wonder if a few of those blessings you will show your appreciation for might be those you are discipling. They are far from perfect and might even frustrate you at times, but you have experienced great moments with them and grown together in Christlikeness.
I want to encourage you as a disciplemaker to thank God this year for the privilege and responsibility of discipling others, whether it has been a hard year or the best group you have ever gotten to lead.
Our Groups Minister at Long Hollow, Julie Woodruff, (she’s one of the voices on the Disciple Her Podcast by the way!) started our meeting last week having us look at Colossians 1. We thought through it as leaders in the church and how it applies to Groups Ministry in general. She noted something many of us have probably overlooked when we got to verse 11.
“…being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience…” (CSB)
Those words ‘endurance’ and ‘patience’ are more specific than they appear at a surface reading. In the original language, Paul is specifically talking about having endurance in our circumstances and patience with people.
As disciplers, we ought to display these qualities to those we lead. 2020 has possibly been the greatest test God has ever given us in terms of having endurance with our circumstances. And as a discipleship group leader, you are up close and personal with people significantly more than most. You have a great opportunity to patiently lead these people as they learn and grow and try to follow you as you follow Jesus.
We show endurance with our circumstances and patience with people and then verse 12 gives us the cherry on top, “…joyfully giving thanks to the Father…” (CSB)
What an attitude Paul pushes us toward here! If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time, you have probably had situations where it has been hard to joyfully give thanks to the Father for the circumstances and people you are ministering. That’s exactly what Paul encourages us to do by the power of the Holy Spirit though.
Let’s make it a point as leaders in our churches and our discipleship movements to constantly be giving thanks for the people God has entrusted to us. It is no accident that you find yourself among these particular people at this particular time! Let your people know how much you love and appreciate them and thank the Father for them too!
As you give thanks for those you disciple, consider equipping them to do the same with the D-Group Starter Guide! One way to show you are grateful for them is to help them lead well in the future.
Pastors, link arms with disciplemakers around the country and develop every aspect of your discipleship ministry by checking out the Replicate Network.