The Missing Link
“Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”– Mark 1:17
When I was 12 years old, I came to know Jesus in a personal way.
While watching a religious program on TV, I knelt down and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.
But thankfully, it didn’t end there.
My parents discipled me. Getting to know Jesus was only step one. They saw to it that I would grow in this great relationship with Jesus.
So they taught me how to pray and how to read my Bible. They saw to it that I attended weekly Catholic prayer meetings. They encouraged me to join a ministry within that prayer group. They connected me with other friends my age who also wanted to serve God.
But more than all these, they loved me. By their presence, their words and their life, they mirrored to me who Jesus was. It was my relationship with my parents that caused me to love the Lord for the rest of my life.
Friends, the reason why I’m still here loving Jesus after 33 years is because I was discipled.
What Is Discipleship?
In essence, discipleship is relationship.
Discipleship doesn’t happen in prayer meetings or spiritual seminars or prayer rallies. Real discipleship happens only in a loving, one-on-one relationship. So it’s not even just a “program” done in a one-on-one setting. It’s first of all a relationship before it’s a program.
There really are only two elements to discipleship:
1. Discipleship is a friendship.
Discipleship is love. It’s delighting in the person as Jesus would. You’re talking to a child of God. Jesus gave His whole life for that human being. By loving that person, he or she will know what it means to be loved by God.
2. And within that friendship, discipleship is training this one person to love God, love others and bless the world.
How? By sharing habits that will make this person grow in the Lord. And here’s where this little book comes in. Love Someone Today will help you make disciples. It contains seven important lessons a person needs to start his relationship with Jesus.
This kind of discipleship is the missing link of the Church.
Very little discipleship is happening today. Parishes are like sacramental gas stations. People go in and out like ships in the night. Even many prayer groups are weak or dying. They’ve become so focused on rituals and activities, and they don’t offer discipleship.
Don’t get me wrong. Weekly prayer meetings are very important. In my community, Light of Jesus Family, we call it The Feast. Each week, we gather to worship and listen to God’s Word. Each week, we keep tweaking and improving it, making it more uplifting, inspiring and seeker-friendly. And each week, thousands of people come. And they go home blessed and inspired. But at the end of the day, for the thousands to keep growing in the Lord, they need one-toone discipleship.
The lack of one-to-one discipleship is also why real evangelism isn’t happening. Because you can’t separate evangelism with discipleship. Without one-to-one discipleship, any evangelistic activity will create the revolving door syndrome: after the evangelistic activity, new people will soon drop out.
This is also the reason why many young people are no longer attending Church. our aging religious leadership is scary. Here’s a fact: 70 percent of the Philippine population is below the age of 30. If we’re not reaching young people with the Gospel, that means we’re not reaching 70 percent of the population. The solution? To disciple the youth — and let the youth disciple other young people.
This is my prayer: That this little book — and all the little books of this entire discipleship series — will help you make many loving disciples for Jesus.
Light of Jesus Family
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