GenJ Blog

If you reap what you sew… why aren’t I seeing fruit?

discipler's skills Feb 25, 2022

 Did you hear about the man who planted a lemon seed that grew into an apple tree?

Now for my follow up question – how many eyebrows did I just raise?

Being well aware that you’re probably either a) surprised that this law-defying natural phenomenon had taken place or b) a little bit more than slightly concerned about my lack of understanding regarding plant development, I’m going to jump right to the chase.

Of course, I would agree that this would be both an unrealistic and implausible scenario. In other words, you may now rest assured knowing that the laws of nature have not changed, and that the planation of a lemon seed will still result in the growth of a lemon tree.

While the outcome of a lemon seed resulting in a lemon tree that would then bear the fruit of a lemon seems to be a relatively straightforward concept… is that all it is? Is it really as simple as it seems? Or would there be any other environmental variables such as light, water and...

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The transformative nature of life-on-life discipling

discipler's skills Feb 18, 2022

 Have you ever noticed that after spending an extended period of time with a particular person, that you have gradually begun to sound more like them or maybe have picked up on some of their characteristics? Maybe it was the way they laugh, a specific mannerism or a gesture they make when talking?

I know I certainly have! Reflecting on the different friendships that I have developed over the past few years of my life; I can definitely see how those closest to me have both influenced and shaped who I have become.

I’m sure there are also several examples that you can think of within your own life of where this has been the case for you.

Why does this happen?

Because we become who we hang around.

What a strange notion! That those around us can have so much power over the way in which we either do or do not live out our Jesus-like possibility.

See, if I hang out with a friend once a month, then it is not likely that I will pick up on their characteristics or mannerisms....

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What if persistency ISN'T key in a discipling realationship?

discipler's skills Feb 12, 2022

 If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… don't give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end.

Based on this saying, would you contend that the ideology surrounding persistency being key acts as a blanket rule, applying to all situations, or a rule with some exceptions?

Before we delve deeper into this question, let’s consider the following example.

Let’s say you have a friend, let’s call him Alex, who was unemployed and kept complaining to you about not being able to find a job. You know that your workplace has a new position available of which Alex has the appropriate qualifications. You tell Alex about the position and set up an interview for him with your boss.

The time of the interview comes, and Alex is nowhere to be found.

You are left feeling confused, you know that not only had Alex had asked you to do this as a favour, but he also needed it to stay financially afloat for the next few weeks.

You confront Alex and ask him why...

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A discipler toolbox

discipler's skills Jan 20, 2022

Imagine this... 

You are a mechanic leaving your workplace after putting in a hard day’s work. You’re on your way home when you suddenly see a limousine pulled over on the side of the road with a group of women frantically pacing back and forth. As you get closer, you notice the limousine has a flat tire... and maybe a mechanical problem!

Then, you get even closer and notice the women are all dressed up, in fact, one of them is wearing a white dress. You suddenly realise… it’s a bridal party!

You now realise you have a decision to make, will you stop to help the bride? Or will you keep on driving?

You think through the possible options.

As a qualified mechanic, the task will be an easy fix. Why? Because you had not only been trained in fixing this problem, but had done this so many times, you could do it in your sleep!

You decide to pull over and instantly notice the look of relief on the bride’s face. ‘Wow, what a commotion!’,...

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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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