brief encounters

Image credit: luckybusiness / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: luckybusiness / 123RF Stock Photo

Discipleship is a lifelong relationship with Jesus. But how long should we plan to physically spend with the people we are discipling?

Here is what Paul did:

  1. Paul discipled the Philippians for “several days” (Acts 16:12).
  2. Paul discipled the Thessalonians for “three Sabbath days” (Acts 17:2).
  3. Paul discipled the Bereans only until opponents in neighboring Thessalonica learned he was there and ran him out of town (Acts 17:13).
  4. Paul discipled the Corinthians for “a year and a half” (Acts 18:11).
  5. Paul discipled the Ephesians for “three months” in the synagogue (Acts 19:8), before turning his focus for the next “two years” (Acts 19:10) on reaching the rest of the whole province of Asia.

In each of these cases,

  1. Paul began with unbelievers,
  2. He presumably maintained some type of contact with those he discipled after he left, and
  3. Those he discipled continued the process of discipling the lost in their cities and regions.

Bottom line:

Relatively brief encounters are one more reason to carefully model and help the people we are discipling master simple disciple making tools.

Your turn: What would you do differently if you had only six months to transform a group of people who didn’t know Jesus into a reproducing, disciple making team?

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