GenJ Blog

What do you do when someone you are discipling is struggling? (Part 2)

discipler's skills Jan 13, 2022

Invariably, as you invest in discipling people in your world, you will be confronted with times when they are facing diverse struggles. Struggles that you can't do anything about! So, what do you do when it seems that you can do nothing?!

In our last blog, we agreed that a discipler ought to intercede through prayer and fasting. 

Now the power of prayer has been established in the last blog, let’s explore fasting, another powerful method of intercedence.

The power of fasting can be seen throughout the book of Esther.

In Chapter 4, Esther is informed by her cousin Mordecai of an evil plan that has been put into place to annihilate the Jews. Esther, Queen at the time, is told that the only hope of saving God’s people was if she entered the presence of the King and begged him to save her people. However, in order for Esther to do this, her life would be put at risk. This was because the law stated that if anyone who entered the King’s presence without being...

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What do you do when someone you are discipling is struggling? (Part 1)

discipler's skills Jan 07, 2022

It can be hard when someone in our world is struggling, and there's no clear-cut method of stepping in and helping them out. Sometimes it is hard enough just to think of how we can help those struggling with normal day to day circumstances, let alone when someone is struggling spiritually. 

So, what do we do when a person we are discipling is struggling? Is there one specific solution? A one-size fits all approach?

Unfortunately, the fallen nature of our world means that there may be a vast array of difficulties or problems that an individual may be dealing with at any given moment or time. This means the probability of coming up with a single solution for each problem disciples might be facing, is inevitably slim.

However, despite this seemingly grim reality, the good news is that as followers of Jesus, we don’t have to fear or worry about what can or can’t be done in the natural. Why? Because we have God on our side! Our all-loving, all-trusting and all-knowing...

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Why should you live out your calling as a discipler?

discipler's identity Dec 02, 2021

 Have you ever been excited about a goal or a task, but found it hard to persist with it overtime?

Maybe it was at the start of the year when you decided to take up a new course of study. While you had previously been excited, it was now exam season and the thought of all of the content you have to learn was making you panic. Or maybe there was a new exercise regime that you committed to but now were dreading the idea of waking up early to work out each morning.

Whatever your situation may look like, you probably asked yourself ‘Why am I doing this? Is it even worth it?’

How did you respond? What did you do? Did you decide to push on through or did you decide to give up?

Personally, I know that if I don’t have a reason for engaging in a certain behaviour, then I am less likely to stick to my goal or complete whatever the task might be. 

One of my goals at the start of the year was to go for a run of at least 3km at a minimum of 5 times a week. While...

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Maintaining Spiritual Cleanliness as a Discipler

discipler's identity Nov 25, 2021

 Have you ever been asked a question that has made perfect sense while making no sense at all?

Earlier this week one of the kids at my workplace asked me: “Eleisha, why do we wash our towel if we’re supposed to be clean when we use them? How does a towel get dirty? And if we’re clean, then, why can’t we just use the same towel forever?”

After having a quick giggle, I began to think about it more. I thought no matter how hard we scrubbed, we would never be able to become 100% clean.

Why would this be the case?

Well, because we live in a world with bacteria, germs and other types of pathogens that keep us from being fully clean. 

Can you catch the similarities between our physical and spiritual cleanliness?

You see, in the same way that this world limits us from experiencing complete physical cleanliness, it is impossible for us to become fully clean, living lives free from sin on this side of eternity.

So, rather than it...

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How do you disciple people to pray?

discipler's skills Nov 20, 2021

I’m sure you would agree that prayer is not just an important but rather an essential part of having a relationship with God. So, it is important to have a clear understanding of how we can model, teach and partner with those we disciple, as they learn to pray.

Modelling A Possibility

Do you know why the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1)?

It wasn’t because Jesus had previously taught them some hard to grasp, abstract ideas on prayer, rather it was a natural reaction to watching Him pray!

Jesus showed them what type of prayerful disciples they could be. He illustrated to them who they could become! It moved them. It aroused their desires to be like Him.

A vital aspect of teaching prayer to those we disciple involves modelling a possibility. To put it simply, to model a possibility means to show those you disciple WHO they are, through the lens of Jesus, before they see themselves as such. For example, disciples may not yet see themselves as those...

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The Math of Multiplying Disciples

I’ll never forget commencing my university degree and discovering that I needed to do a math subject.

What did a Bachelor of Business have to do with math? “Everything” I hear you say!

Well, I had hoped that my relationship math would have ended after high school because quite frankly, to me, math seemed like some freaky blood stained corpse on the Ghost Train who had jumped out from behind a dark uni door unexpectedly. And yet there I was signing up for a degree with a first semester subject called “Quantitative Analysis.” 

My fears and my mathematical incompetence collided and I managed to fail that subject rather impressively. The quickest foreseeable way to passing this nightmare math unit was to do it as a 3 week summer school program. I recall my dad offering to pay the $700 upfront fee and warning me sternly, “Do not fail, this is costing good money.”

I tried to blame my subject fail on my mum’s death a few months prior,...

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Is SOAP Practical? (Part 4)

discipler's doctrine Oct 03, 2021

This is the final blog on our series on meditative reading of the scripture (e.g., SOAP).

So far, we’ve argued that meditative Bible reading as per the method of SOAP is a valid, biblical and evangelical spiritual practice. In this blog we will share with you an excerpt from our GenJ Book (2020) on SOAP. It will provide you with some helpful insights to practically spend time with God’s Word daily and allow it to transform you from the inside out.

THE SOAP METHOD SOAP is an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.

It is a profoundly simple method that walks you through how to identify and personally hear from God and apply His Word. But before we go any further, here’s our disclaimer: Much like learning to ride a bike, drive a car, or fly a plane, you may feel that the process of hearing from God is a little mechanical at first. But with practice, it will become natural and intuitive and will form your new default settings. Over time,...

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Is SOAP Evangelical? (Part 3B: Historical)

discipler's doctrine Oct 02, 2021

Meditative Reading of the Bible in Evangelicalism

Comparing the components of meditative Bible reading (e.g., Lectio divina), Howard (2012) recognizes the similarities of these features with evangelicalism. He states that:

“It is my conviction that the essential features—and even many of the particular components, of lectio divina—are not only kindred, but common in the evangelical tradition” (p. 57).

Howard extensively argues that evangelicals considered the devotional reading of the Bible as a valid spiritual practice that included reading, meditation, consideration, prayer, illumination and experience of the Holy Spirit and action. Engaging in devotional Bible reading promised transformation rather than simple gathering of information.

The Discipline of Reading

Evangelicals have consistently promoted the discipline of reading the Word daily. Howard (2012, p. 59) observes that “evangelicals of past centuries used the language of...

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Is SOAP Evangelical? (Part 3A: Historical)

discipler's doctrine Oct 01, 2021

Throughout my ministry years in evangelical church contexts, I have met numerous individuals who refuted the appropriateness of reading the Bible meditatively (e.g., through the method of SOAP or lectio divina).

Listening to some well-meaning evangelical teachers, churchgoers, and bloggers theorize about meditative Bible reading may give the impression that SOAPs are either heretical or at least invalid approach to evangelical spirituality.

However, in a study of the historical practices of evangelicalism, Evan B. Howard, affiliate Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality at Fuller Theological Seminary, examines the alignment of meditative Bible reading (lectio divina) with Protestant practices. In his extensive enquiry, he investigated practices of Protestant Reformers, Anglican devotional writers, Puritans, Pietists, revivalists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Fundamentalists, and other similar expressions. He concluded:

“Devotional Bible-reading was important and that,...

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Is SOAP Biblical? (Part 2)

Reading the Bible daily, meditatively, and obediently is one of the most critical means for spiritual growth towards Christlikeness. Why? Because God’s Word is like food that is necessary for our spiritual nourishment and development.

And just as there are diverse and equally valid ways of consuming food, there are also diverse and valid ways of consuming God’s Word.

A restaurant chef consumes food for the purpose of creating the best possible meals. Chefs are akin to Bible teachers who study God’s Word, digging for theological concepts, exploring historical and cultural contexts, analysing grammar, comparing biblical texts throughout the cannon, as well as synergising and presenting biblical truths in an engaging way for their audience.

A restaurant critic consumes food for the purpose of analysing the quality of meals. Critics are similar to Bible study groups or theologically oriented students who investigate the cultural background, mull over each passage,...

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