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Monday, August 3, 2009

Making Disciples Like Jesus Did

By Paul Schlieker

Disciple-making requires time. When my daughters Carey and Crystal attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, I occasionally visited them. While at Asbury, I loved to browse through the college library. One day, I stumbled onto a book entitled, Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book. The book was actually a series of sermons that an old time preacher compiled in the 1800's. The first chapter was a sermon called, "Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book." The chapter began, "Throughout history, almost every religious leader wrote a book, so why didn't Jesus?" The preacher's answer; "Because relationships change people, not books." His point was that if you want to fill someone's head, give him a book; if you want to change someone's heart, make him your friend.

"Jesus" was God's method to change the 12 apostles -- and he didn't give them a book -- he gave them himself. Jesus created a small group environment that gave his disciples a natural sense of belonging, care and accountability.

In his book, "What Wives' Wish their Husbands Knew about Women", Dr. James Dobson says, "The reason the average woman would rather be beautiful than smart, is that she knows that the average man can see better than he can think." The truth is, we all see better than we think. Jesus knew that and that's why he wanted his followers to be with him in a variety of life settings.

Use your imagination. What lessons did his disciples learn when they saw Jesus let sinful people touch him? Or hold children on his lap? Or weep at Lazarus' tomb? Or rebuke the Pharisees? Or get alone to pray? Or wash their feet in the upper room?

The idea of making life the classroom is the way Jesus prepared the twelve apostles. Who are you discipling? Do you spend time together in a variety of life settings? People can see better than they can think.

Paul Schlieker disciples internationals and business professionals. He attends Christ Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Professionally, Paul is an agent with Prudential. He and his wife, Peggy have written several easy to use discipleship tools and Bible studies that train believers, introduce Christianity to seekers, and ground believers in Biblical fundamentals. Learn more about these resources and subscribe to a free monthly newsletter at http://www.christianbiblebasics.com/

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