Your response to this question is important. If you are discipling a seeker, he or she will not yet be a friend of Jesus. Even if the person is friendly, even if he or she is saved, your disciple may not be a friend of Jesus. How can that be?
Friend of Jesus
What did Jesus say? Are we friends when we hang out with church people and when we go to church? Are we friends when we talk nicely about the church and about the Bible? Possibly. But how can we know if we are a friend? Consider the words of Jesus:
You are My friends if you do what I command you.John 15:14, CSB
Obedience to His commands is the evidence of friendship. So friendship is more than friendliness. Friendship is more than an initial relationship that produces no change in living life. Friendship is following where Jesus leads, and doing what He commands.
At the same time, it is more than empty action designed to earn our way into friendship. It is more than action without faith, without a trusting relationship with Jesus. You see, obedience is a choice because of the relationship we have with Jesus. We choose to follow. We choose to do what He commands.
As disciplers, we become cheerleaders for obedience flowing out of friendship with Jesus. We ask our disciples to check the pulse and results of their friendship. And we ask them to avoid going through the motions. We teach them to assess motivations and actions. We lovingly push them to choose to follow and to obey.
How are you encouraging your disciple to be a friend of Jesus? Be transparent as you share about your efforts to obey Him. Teach them to as well. Make disciples!