In each of our contexts we all attach connotations to the term, but the bottom line is whatever we do or whatever resources we use, it all requires our most precious commodity – our time. And here is where we come face to face with the mountain we have to climb whenever we ask someone to “disciple” those in our ministry. We are asking for their time.
So, I thought I would give you a few thoughts on how to overcome this challenge. These are not bullet proof, but ideas I still embrace because they have proven to be effective in my ministry:
- Don’t ask people to serve. I know, that sounds wrong. But the truth is I don’t ask people to serve in a ministry. Why? Well, because the first question they ask is, “How much time is required?” I never want that question to come across their mind. Instead, I simply ask people how they are being authentic to their identity as a disciple, themselves. As followers of Jesus we are all called to disciple, it’s part of who we are. It’s inauthentic to not disciple. When we bring it back to our identity, time is the last issue that crosses the mind of the person we are talking with. Their motivation now is obedience to Jesus, not guilt with us. Big difference.
- Show the value of relationship. I wrote a lot about this in College Ministry From Scratch, but we ought to always encourage people with how they are impacting others. This is far more effective than making them feel guilty for how they are not. People will invest both their time and resources into what they find valuable. We just need to show them the value of their relational investment.