Our effective witness to others as followers of Christ is so much more than just communicating the gospel when given the opportunity. It’s more than just talking about Jesus and asking another person to “accept” Jesus. Effective disciple-making requires the formation of a relationship—even if that relationship is only for a small moment in time. It requires us to listen to another’s story, their concerns, objections, frustrations, and questions—and to do so with gentleness and respect.
Recognizing the lordship of Jesus and the desire to be holy means first to recognize one’s need for Jesus in the first place. If our students can’t properly recognize the presence of sin in the world and in their lives, then what need do they have for Jesus?
What we are committed speaks to what we desire. Commitment takes us beyond just want we know, but into our deepest needs—as necessary as food and water. Commitment reveals what we love most and what we love most, we worship.
Discipling our students requires us to be keenly aware of the digital self that lies behind that student who sits every week in the third row, second seat on the left, the student in the front row who has all the answers, or the quiet kid in back row you see once a month. There is a deeper story to our students than most of us ever imagined possible. But the story is told in places some of us never venture to.
Discipleship is not a moment. It is a process. It requires patience, investment, heartache, and the hard conversation.