Personal Discipleship. I chose the word, discipleship, in the title on purpose to include both our personal discipleship and our investment in others (disciple-making). In order to be a disciple, listening is needed. There are a number of essential sources:
- the Holy Spirit
- God’s Word
- Christian resources (books, websites, music, and more)
- Christian mentors, pastors, and friends
- life circumstances.
Are you listening to His still small voice? What is He saying through these sources? When you are confused by or don’t understand a message, check the ultimate source, God’s Word. Be cautious of any message that does not line up with God’s Word.
Disciple-making. Disciple-making also requires listening. As we develop relationships with people throughout life, we should keep our ears open for teachable moments. Where are conversational opportunities for us to share the hope we have in Jesus?
Listening is needed in relationships for sharing Jesus and in helping new and mature Christians make spiritual progress. There are tons of questions to consider. Here are a seven to get your thinking started:
- How do they see God at work in life’s circumstances?
- Where do they place their hope in challenging times?
- What does the Bible teach about how they should relate to people (boss, spouse, etc.)?
- What does the Bible teach about how they should respond to crisis, criticism, fear, doubt, questions, etc.?
- What are they learning from their daily quiet times?
- What are they learning from Sunday School, worship, and church activities?
- How are they different this year as a result of another year living for Jesus?
Questions are simply tools for listening. Observation of life can also speak loudly if you are listening (and looking). Casual conversation has many hints about needs, struggles, doubts, and concerns.
Are you listening? Listen to your sources. Listen to others. Be a disciple. Make disciples!