What Every Disciple Should Do
Many ask: “What do I do now that I have committed to be a follower and disciple of Christ? What are the best next steps?” Presented below are five suggestions regarding what every disciple should do. Information on what every believer should know is posted throughout the iamawatchman.com website. May God bless you on your spiritual journey!
- Join a good, evangelical, Bible-teaching church: When looking for a church, do not be unduly influenced by congregation size, building design, or professional music, drama and preaching presentations. Look for heart. Look to see if the people love each other. Discern whether or not the staff are good teachers AND good shepherds. Ask for information about church goals, small group ministry/study opportunities, beliefs and missions involvement. Ask to meet with a Pastor an Elder or Deacon to discuss the church vision, how the church can be a blessing to you, and how you can be a blessing to the church.
- Join a small group: BiblicalDiscipleMaking.net notes that some of the benefits of sharing in a small group include:
- You will begin to feel like part of God’s family: It is easy to get lost in a crowd—to go to church and worship but stay invisible and anonymous. Meeting with a small group of fellow believers provides an opportunity to build relationships. It also provides the opportunity to share, learn, pray with and for others, and walk with others on your spiritual journey. When you are connected to fellow believers, you are part of a family and never stand alone.
- You will grow faster spiritually in a group than alone:The Word notes that we have been “predestined to become conformed to the image of Christ” (Rom. 8:29). Spiritual growth involves life change. Life change is optimized in the context of a small group. 2 Timothy 2:22 teaches that we are to “run after” godly character and “run away” from the passions of youth. This verse instructs us not to do this alone but “with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.” God wants us to stop “trying” and start “training.” It’s always easier to exercise, physically or spiritually, in a group rather than alone (1 Tim. 4:7b).
- You will not have to go through struggles alone: It’s not only possible but probable that you would walk into and out of large group (worship) events with hurts, heartaches, and questions but never connect with someone who will show an interest in you or identify with your difficulty. Many think their struggles are unique, but in a small group setting, it becomes clear that most struggles are universal. It’s encouraging to find that members of your group have not only struggled with common problems but have also found helpful solutions in God’s Word (1 Cor. 10:13).
- Pray, Pray, Pray: Many are hesitant to pray in front of others, especially in a large group setting. In a small group of 6-12, you will learn to participate in prayer by having a conversation together with God. As you see prayer modeled by others and you become comfortable, you’ll be able to pray sentence prayers and join in. There are many Bible promises and blessings regarding group prayer (see Matt. 18:19).
- You will understand the Bible better: Have you ever listened to a message at a worship service and wanted to stop the speaker and ask, “But what about….?” or, “I don’t understand!” If so, then a small group is for you. The message presented in a worship service is one-way communication. You listen while the speaker speaks. It’s fine for imparting knowledge, but not as effective for personal application. In a small group setting, you can ask questions, participate in a discussion of the text, and hear others share their insights. The truth in the Bible is practical, timeless, and designed to be applied to our everyday lives—participation in a small group helps believers know how that is possible.
- Develop your personal prayer life: Many have busy schedules and hesitate to schedule something new—particularly a new time commitment every day. However, this is not only important, but it is also essential. Jesus prayed constantly and encouraged his disciples to pray. A great evangelist once said, “I have so much to do today, it is impossible for me not to pray.” That’s a good A few suggestions to help your daily prayer time are noted below:
- Schedule it: For many, if it’s not on the schedule it doesn’t get done. It may take a while to get into a routine, but the benefit of setting aside this time will quickly become clear.
- Seek out a prayer partner: This needs to be someone who will pray for you and with you—a confidant. Pray with and for this person about specific needs. Keep a list of your prayer needs. Follow-up with your prayer partner to let them know that you are continuing to pray for their needs. Follow-up with your prayer partner to let them know how God is working in your life. Be positive, be encouraging, and be perseverant. Ask church leadership to pair you up with a prayer partner if one is not apparent.
- Keep a prayer journal: Record prayer needs, and note when you began praying for the specific needs. Review your prayer journal often and see how God moved to answer those requests.
- Plan to give: Christian stewardship is the mark of Christian maturity. When believers give, believers receive. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). A few suggestions are noted below:
- Make a plan to provide regular financial support for God’s work (note: see articles on Christian Stewardship).
- Ask for a copy of your church budget and familiarize yourself with church finances.
- Give cheerfully, regularly, and generously. Give your time, talent, resources, and finances.
- Rejoice in being able to support mission and outreach efforts through the local church. Be open to providing above and beyond support (funds, time, encouragement) to special needs and ministry projects as the Lord makes you aware of those ministries and opportunities.
- God expects His people to be good and faithful stewards of the resources He entrusts to them (Luke 14:13-14; Matthew 25:14-30).
- Read and study the Word: Titus 2:15 notes that disciples are to study and “rightly handle” (understand and share) Scripture. Acts 17:11 notes that the Bereans (a small group of believers living in Berea) were commended for their diligence in studying the Word. Acts 2:42 records that the early church committed themselves to learn from the Apostles. It honors God when His people strive to learn what the Word says, how to share it, and how to incorporate it into your life. A few suggestions are noted below:
- Take notes during the sermon time, you remember more.
- Consider purchasing a STUDY BIBLE—A Bible that has study/commentary notes on each page of the text. This will aid in understanding difficult passages.
- Write down your questions as you read—share these with a staff member or Small Group/Bible Study teacher.
- Listen to good Bible Study Teachers online, on TV and/or radio. Church leadership may be able to share recommendations.
- Establish a Bible reading routine. Read for a certain number of minutes at a regular time each day.
A disciple is one who is committed to learn and grow. A preacher once said, “We are called to a spiritual walk—not a spiritual stand.” The disciple of Christ never grows stagnant. The correct perspective is: There is always more to learn, more to do, and more to reach. It is optimal to join with others, access quality resources, and “not grow weary in doing good” (Gal. 6:9).
A believer believes. A disciple is committed to serve, learn and grow – to be discipled. A Watchman is one who studies the Word, knows prophecy, watches for signs, and boldly shares what God has done and what God will do. What it means to be a Watchman as well as additional information on How to Become a Watchman, can be found on the I Am A Watchman website. We encourage all to prayerfully consider how God may be calling them to special service in these last days. May God bless you as you serve Him.
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