Discipleship is for Everyone

Shanna thought she understood discipleship: that it was something for only really spiritually mature people to give and receive. That meant that it wasn’t for her.

Her story has a typical beginning. She grew up in Christian community surrounded by fellow believers. Throughout her teen years she participated in a few Bible studies but never really gave much thought to what it meant to be a disciple of Christ. Moving into her college years was the catalyst she needed to reconsider her solitary spiritual journey.

“After my freshman year, I took a year off to work in my hometown and work through spiritual doubt,” Shanna says. Her Christian community began to help unravel her misconceptions about discipleship. “Thanks to some believing coworkers and a few women in my church, I felt loved and supported in the midst of my doubts. They never made me feel ashamed but always encouraged me to seek God.”

During this time, God presented his next step for this budding disciple: a life-changing trip to Asia with her church.

“I fell in love with the people and place. Also, through the love of those believers, I finally understood God’s great love for me. I wanted to come back to love on the people who had loved me so well,” Shanna says.

Through these experiences God was revealing to her that discipleship is for everyone.

“Discipleship is intentionally pouring into others to give them the tools to follow Christ closely and learn to disciple others,” she says. “That’s something for people of all spiritual walks!”

Shanna thought she understood discipleship: that it was something for only really spiritually mature people to give and receive. That meant that it wasn’t for her.

Inspired by her trip, when Shanna returned to college she sought out an opportunity to work with international students. Now, she had not only a strengthened faith, but a taste of working with people from other cultures; she could replicate in a cross-cultural context the discipling she had experienced in her Christian community.

Shanna returned to Asia this year for six months to continue her journey and help Asians who have never heard of Jesus start theirs. By becoming an intern in one of SEND International’s D Houses, she challenged herself to daily life in a foreign culture and language, while coming under the discipling mentorship of experienced missionaries in community with other interns. She chose the D House program because it would help her grow spiritually, deepen her Biblical foundation, and teach her how to contextualize the gospel in order to begin making new disciples among unreached peoples.

Through this experience, Shanna has not only developed a rich appreciation of discipleship, she is pushing well beyond the boundaries of the average Christian, and she encourages others to do the same. Don’t be afraid to initiate a discipling relationship, she says.

“It is worth the initial awkwardness of asking! God has designed us to need other people,” she says. “You are blessed by being a disciple. You learn how to seek God and reach others more effectively. The person discipling you is also blessed as they rely on him in learning to teach you. It’s not something I want to live without anymore.”


Reprinted with permission from SEND International
https://send.org/story/discipleship-is-for-everyone

More on Mission Central

Random Posts

Event Recap

Event Recap: "Experiencing New Vitality Through the Ancient Art of Hospitality"

Hospitality is one of fundamental spiritual practices of the Christian life and the Ancient Art of HospitalityRead more Read more...

Quotation

“Disciples”

A disciple is who Jesus would be if he were you.Read more Read more...

Article

Why Local and Global Missions Need Each Other

"God has been in the business of pushing his people out of their current context and sending them into the wider world."Read more Read more...

Video

Tell Us Your Why with Lydia Nigh (Part 1 and Part 2)

Lydia Nigh from SIM Canada and FamilyLife Canada as she shares her journey in ministry and the place God has called her to leading a missional life.Read more Read more...

Random Posts

Devotional

Altar Vision Devotional - Week 3

How do I prioritize surrender to God and my personal relationships?Read more Read more...

Devotional

Idols and Mighty Deeds

God desires that he is the only one to whom we direct our worship, and one of the reasons is so that His power can be demonstrated in our lives.Read more Read more...

Video

Tell Us Your Why with Jeff Wong (Part 1 and Part 2)

Jeff Wong, Lead Pastor of MT12 Church, shares with us the WHY behind his heart for where God has called him to and his journey with JesusRead more Read more...

Article

Considerations to Missionary Care

Missionary care extends beyond the individual and should take into consideration who the missionary is connected to and factor in the journey of life.Read more Read more...