Disciple-Making Hurdles? Tell Us Your Story

HurdlesIt’s hard to believe that the Multiply live stream happened over two months ago!  Our hope is that since November, you’ve had many great opportunities to share the gospel, encourage others with truth, and work on those disciple-making relationships we all prayed for at the gathering.

However, as many of you may have already found, this isn’t always easy.  In fact, more times than not, it’s difficult.  Especially in the beginning.  Striking up conversations about the Lord, figuring out how to initiate an ongoing discipleship relationship, knowing how to address unfamiliar issues… it’s tough.  We can set out with the best of intentions and a solid plan that looks great on paper, but things don’t always happen like we would hope.

We want to know your story.  What are these hurdles that seem so high?  What are the struggles that you can’t seem to figure out how to tackle?  What has been the hardest part?  What have you figured out?  What can’t you seem to figure out?  How have you seen the Lord work?  Do you have any questions we may be able to help with?

We may use your story to help others in the future.  Comment below or post it on the Multiply Facebook page.  We want to know the success stories, but we also want the trials.  The good, the bad, and the ugly – what’s your disciple making story?

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18 comments
  1. Stefanie Jeffers said:

    Two nights ago God woke me in the middle of the night and asked me to go talk to my 94 year old grandma about Jesus. He wanted me to go today. Admittedly, I argued a little bit. Did He really mean Tuesday morning, my first morning alone since as long as I can remember? The kids went back to school today and I was no longer working. No, I felt Him reply, Tuesday was when He asked me to go. Not Wednesday. Not when it was convenient for me. So I said yes. My grandma lives out of town and I drive a car that I never take out of town…because it’s not safe. So I set out this morning, in a car I didn’t trust but with a God that I do. I went with no words to say, knowing that God would help me say whatever it was He sent me to say. As I drove I felt completely in His hands. I needed only Him. I needed Him to keep me safe. I needed Him to speak through me. You see, my grandma is not very kind. She is at the end of her life with very few people left. She has driven most people away by her anger and her hurtful words and actions. She once called me a whore and said I had the morals of an alley cat. I had no idea how she would feel about a talk about Jesus. And when I got there…well, I counted entirely on God. I prayed while she was talking, while she was getting off track with tales of her angry past. And then I started talking. Well, almost yelling because she is hard of hearing (I liked this because it meant others could hear too!). And God took over. He allowed me the courage to speak the truth. I told her about how much I loved Jesus and all that He has done for me. I didn’t sugarcoat anything, I just said the words God placed on my heart. She asked me what to do…I simply said to let Him in. So much hatred and anger, so much unforgivenss and resentment had separated her from the joy of truly knowing Jesus. Really knowing Him…not just in her head but in her heart. She asked Him into her heart and we talked about what she can do from here to let go of all that she has been hanging onto. I pray that her heart will truly be touched by the love of Christ and that at the end of a long life of hate she will know true love. I am humbled God allowed me the chance to talk about Him. I was afraid, I even felt a little crazy driving a wreck of a car to see an old woman who has never been open to love. I even have had trouble with my driver’s license because of administrative issues. Had I been pulled over I don’t know what would have happened. But I went anyway. And God, as always, was faithful.

    • Carol Lindberg said:

      Awesome…..Praise God!

  2. Sondra Bright said:

    In a few weeks I will begin the Multiply Movement with my church and have invited a family member out of state to join me. We have a few obstacles facing us and are looking for creative ideas around them. She has no computer and no access to one, being homebound on hospice. I plan to mail her the material weekly and communicate primarily by phone. Any inspired thoughts out there to make this more meaningful for her? Thanks.

  3. I haven’t shared the Gospel with anyone yet, but there have been opened doors to build a friendship with some and really show them love and tell them why I love that way (because of Him). What I’ve learned after some of my own experiences is that if you’re only in it to make yourself look more righteous or feel better, people will see through that real quick. We must pray for true intentions when sharing the Gospel; that we would share it not to be self-righteous, but because it’s too good not to share!

  4. So excited to see this blog!!! My church has various small groups and I am getting ready to lead a women discipleship group using the multiply book. We start next week and I am super excited to have 9 women signed up so far. One woman shared with me that things are not going so well with her and she realized that she needed me to disciple her. Hearing her say it like that has scared me a bit. The women in my group range from a 17 year old high school student, divorced and single mom, brand new believer and a pastors wife. With fear and trepidation we begin next week. Any suggestions on how to disciple in a group setting? I have started a blog for my group as well. Hoping to update it each week and use it to address any questions that may have gone unasked or thought of later. Appreciate prayers!!

    • Sondra Bright said:

      One idea for a group is just be sure to moderate and keep the ladies on focused on the topic at hand, not letting the conversations get sidetracked.

      • Yes, thanks I agree. That can always be a challenge.

  5. I’m discipling four guys and it has been an awesome experience. One of the four I’m using the Multiply book as a sort of curriculum for the process and its nice to see how he is growing in the Lord through this ministry. Some hurdles for me are the fact that I am more introverted than extroverted so I enjoy being alone so that makes it hard to do life with people. Another is that I have made the mistake of being too programmatic before. Every person doesn’t learn the same way at the same speed so it took a while to find a good rhythm with each brother. Overall I haven’t had too many bad experiences. I love to disciple and see men grow closer to God and I’m glad the Multiply Movement exists. I feel encouraged knowing there are others who place a priority on the Great Commission!

  6. I’m discipling four guys and it has been an awesome experience. One of the four I am using the Multiply book and it is wonderful to see how he is growing in the Lord through this ministry. Some hurdles for me would be the fact that I am more introverted than extroverted so I enjoy my time alone. That makes it difficult to do life together. Another would be that have been too programmatic at times. Everybody does not learn the same way at the same pace. I had to learn to find the right rhythm with each guy. Overall discipleship hasn’t been a bad experience. I love to disciple and see men grow closer to God. I’m thankful for the Multiply Movement. I’m encouraged to see that there are others who place a priority on the Great Commission!

  7. Michelle said:

    I have been looking through the Multiply material and have just talked to someone about a potential discipleship. She responded with her thoughts, concerns, and some of the “expectations” she has based on what her idea of a “discipleship” is. For example, she brought up the difference in our age (only 2 years), and asked whether I thought that we were too close in age for a discipleship relationship. What is the best way explain the discipleship taught in Multiply when people have so many different/contrasting/specific ideas of what discipleship looks like when they are approached?

  8. Kimberly said:

    I had to get creative. instead of discipling face to face I am going to be meeting someone online. wasn’t what I had planned out but getting excited to go for it!

  9. Mike said:

    I’m asking people about God, but many people say they don’t sense Him in their life. They don’t feel his presence. They feel alone. This just kills me. I hurt for them. I just know God IS there. But how do I say that? What can I share with them?

  10. Carol Lindberg said:

    I am discipling unwed pregnant teenagers from the ages of 12 – 21. These sweet young ladies come from heartbreaking life situations and have deep hurts and issues with trusting anyone. They come from families and home lives that are abusive, destructive to their self-esteem, and often are dominated by drugs and/or alcohol addictions. Some of the girls have been raped, abused, and forced into prostitution or dancing. They have pain beyond my rehelm of understanding which breaks my heart.
    I go to them every week. I am waiting for them when they come home from school so they have someone who is there to listen to them unload their day’s struggles. I lead them in a bible study and we talk about scripture, salvation, and what it means to trust Jesus with your life. Then I cook dinner for them and we sit down at a table as a family and encourage each other. Most of these girls have never had a family experience like that to relate to. I want them to share in each others lives as they grow in Christ. Many of the girls have accepted Christ, been baptized, learned to read their bibles, and have left with their babies in Christan arms. Several of the girls have witnessed to their baby daddy’s what they are learning and they have even brought them to meet me.
    I have learned is to let the Word of God do its work and for the Holy Spirit to speak it to each girls heart and ears. Really everything I do is through prayer all week long. I know that only God knows what they need to hear so I surrender to pray, study the Word of God in preparation, and then go there with the intent of just loving them like they were my own daughters. God will do the rest through me how he wants. I can share Jesus best by just letting go and letting the Gospel flow out of my love for Him and my love for them. I’m not on my agenda. I focus on loving them and sharing with them Jesus who loves them more than they will ever imagine. Surrendering my time and energy is a labor of love that is not a burden…it’s just a natural experience of loving those that need love and need to find the cross.
    The hardest part is when I also share the pain. I wasn’t prepared for that! When one of them runs away or returns to a sinful lifestyle, I grieve, but I am glad it hurts me because they stay a prayer burden on my heart. It is also difficult sometimes when they want me to validate their wrong behavior or reject truth because they were only interested in only getting sympathy without a desire to turn from sin.
    I don’t do a girl any good to teach them to apply the Word of God like a bandaid to life’s problems without turning away from sin. I have learned to let the Word of God stand alone. The Holy Spirit knows all things….not me. They need to learn to trust what the Word of God says, deny the tendency to trust the world, and just trust Jesus alone for their answers. My role is to point them to Jesus and for him to be their #1 love and refuge. I don’t want them to run to me, but learn to run to Him!
    My second problem has been I have had other women who want to come and be apart of what I have been doing. I thought that was wonderful but it has proven to be hard. They have wanted to come an listen to my bible studies but not give of themselves to the girls. Sometimes they have wanted me to give bible studies that will be soothing to them. I don’t think these two women from my church pray for the girls because they don’t remember the girls names. Sometimes they have been on their cell phone about personal matters when I am having a discussion about a scripture. I think God must have them their for a reason but honestly they are sometimes a distraction. This is God’s ministry to these girls not mine.

    So does anyone have some advice about this problem….please share. I have tried talking with them about it but they return to the same behavior each week. So please share your advice with me.

    • Carol, Sounds like an amazing ministry and God has you just where He wants you. The less than helpful women from your church maybe need an assignment (other than prayer) I have someone co-leading with me who is in charge of our group doing some sort of service together and fellowship together, perhaps they just don’t feel needed or useful. Maybe find out how they are gifted and put those gifts to work or tell them to stay home.

      • …. also never assume that someone is a true follower of Christ, it might just be that they aren’t praying or participating because they also need to hear the gospel and are attracted to what you are doing because of this.

  11. ray labas said:

    what have you found is the best way to overcome fear while sharing the good news? What’s the best way to present the gospel without being too forceful or raw while at the same time not sugar coating anything? I’m an introvert as well but need God’s grace to help spread his message to all people groups of the world

  12. Jason Smith said:

    I don’t even know where to start. I have a situation in my family where my 14-year-old nephew is claiming to be gay. And what is worse I have family members who claim to be Christian that think it is ok. They actually support the idea and are proud of him. So yesterday I presented the gospel to them.The whole biblical truth of the gospel. The response I got was nothing less than hate. Family members telling me that we should no longer talk because my views were so closed minded when it came to abortion and homosexuality. I presented Jesus in truth. It is the only way I know how. It is a burden to know that I have family members so lost who think they are saved. They have what I call the Oprah/Osteen syndrome. Their only response to me besides how narrow minded I was is You know the whole “Jesus is all about love” quotes. Which I guess is the only part of the bible they have actually read. Every time I would point out a bible verse or quote scripture it was “why do you always have to bring religion up”? The fact is that I never bring up religion. I only bring up Jesus and His word. Is it just me but I love talking about Christ. There is nothing else I would rather talk about. I really tried to present it in a loving way but know matter how loving you try to present the true biblical gospel most of the time your going to get the same thing. How hateful and closed minded I am. I told them that if I was hateful I would keep my mouth shut and continue to let them be deceived. I was telling them because I truly care about where they will spend eternity. I do praise God for the persecution because it just confirms to me that the scripture is true. Jesus said this would happen. I will keep bringing Him up every chance I get because every time I do He lifts me up and confirms my belief even more. Just keep my family in your prayers because anything is possible with God. I hope a seed was planted and conscience was convicted. Its all up to the Almighty now. All in love God bless.

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