One of the critical practices of making disciples well is ensuring that we are living out our faith in real-life environments. That’s where we learn, fail, practice, and teach others.
Jesus used the world as his workshop for making disciples. He brought his disciples outside, into the real world, and gave them practical, hands-on experience. He didn’t do a seminar on casting out demons; he had his disciples try it and then helped them figure out how to get it right. We learn how to swim in the same way—in a pool, not in a classroom. Although classes in swimming technique can be supplemental and helpful, there’s no substitute for getting in the water and trying it.
Our character is shaped by facing real-life challenges that move us outside of our comfort zones. It’s a little (or a lot) intimidating at first, but it’s the only way to really learn.
Jesus sent us into the world, just as he was sent into the world (John 17:15–18). He had this very natural way of connecting with different people across the whole human spectrum: religious people, non-religious people, open, closed, rich, poor, male, female.
Jesus engaged with people and went where they already were. He sometimes went to those places the religious leaders of his day didn’t go, the places where they were worried about being contaminated and made unclean. By the same token, when we encourage our people to go out and engage in real-life settings with all kinds of people, we help them develop real-life skills that they will need. We also help them look outward and develop hearts of compassion for those around them.
The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are.
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