My question is simple. Whose disciple-making agenda are you pursuing? In fact, whether you realize it or not you may be responding to multiple agendas. Let me share five agendas I hear frequently:
- your agenda,
- your disciple’s agenda,
- the church’s agenda,
- the curriculum’s agenda, and
- Satan’s agenda.
Each one on the list has an agenda. You naturally approach the opportunity and relationship out of your own discipleship experiences. Your disciple may recognize the need but not realize the cost. The church and curriculum may attempt to address the mandate but turn the relationship into a program. Satan’s agenda is to distract and deceive you about disciple-making–succeeding too often.
Above this list of five, God’s agenda is by far and away the most important. In my own disciple-making, I daily have to give up my own preferences and agenda. My own surrender is key to my personal growth and to maximizing my disciple-making efforts with others. There is only one me for a reason.
Asking your disciple about his/her agenda can be helpful, but don’t oversell your response to that agenda. Listen to your disciple. Encourage him/her, and provide support. But focus on what God wants to do through your time and relationship together. Seek His leadership.
Church and curriculum support can be huge helps–they may support God’s agenda. We all need encouragement. But be careful to listen and respond to God’s still small voice along the way through any strategy or curriculum. Stay on His agenda.
I have learned along my discipleship journey that God’s agenda has many surprising turns. If I had pushed my agenda (as mentor or disciple) too far, I would have missed the growth that came as a result of diversions God sent. Pursue nothing less than His disciple-making agenda!