Discipling requires relationships, and relationships can be messy. That means some efforts to disciple will be with difficult people. Don’t give up. Instead, accept the challenge.
My friend, Ken Braddy manages LifeWay’s Ongoing Bible studies, leads his church’s groups ministry, and blogs daily on Sunday School and small groups at kenbraddy.com. Ken wrote a great blog post entitled The 3 Hardest People to Disciple. I want to encourage you to read it whether you disciple through preaching, leading a group, or discipling one-on-one.
In The 3 Hardest People to Disciple, Ken shares the 3 hardest people:
- The know-it-all disciple.
- The time-compressed disciple.
- The spiritually myopic disciple.
When you read the list, does someone come to mind? Pray for him/her right now!
Responding to Difficult People
While the descriptions are very helpful, Ken’s suggestions for responding to each type of disciple was my favorite part of the post. This statement from the concluding paragraph, however, was personally needed because it was very convicting:
The one thing I’ll always want to remind myself is this: I am most likely someone’s difficult person – so I must be quick to extend grace for I need it as well.Ken Braddy of LifeWay Christian Resources and kenbraddy.com
Read Ken’s post and ask a friend if you have tendencies toward being any of these disciples. Determine to adjust. And don’t give up on your disciples that are difficult. Extend grace. Respond with hope, challenge, and encouragement. Grow as a disciple. Make disciples!