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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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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Get-to-know-you discipling questions

discipler's skills Sep 22, 2021

Commencing a Discipling relationship with someone is a bit like screening someone on a dating App!

So….should you Swipe Right or not? And then what?

When it comes to discipling, my intentions are always long term (as in, I’m praying for the best possible outcome and for a long lasting relationship) - but I’ve been alive for long enough to know it takes a while to know if someone is compatible or not. Yep. Compatibility plays a part in discipling, too.

For these reasons, I always throw in an initial disclaimer or loophole when I’m looking at adding one more woman to the tribe of disciples that I invest in. My disclaimer is this: “Let’s try it out for 6 months and then re-evaluate.” I told you, there’s so many similarities to dating!

Commencing a discipling relationship

The other day I started a discipling relationship with a 20 year old woman. I’m 47. Age doesn’t matter that much, but I’m just painting the picture for...

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Selecting people to disciple

discipler's skills Sep 08, 2021

How do you select people that you can disciple?

Disciplers must choose carefully the type of people they invest in. Selection is essential for the long-term effectiveness of the process. Jesus prayed and selected His disciples carefully. Paul instructed Timothy to look for people who are faithful (character) and able (competence) to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).

So, what do you look for in the type of people you seek to disciple?

In a recent training workshop, disciplers affiliated with GenJ documented important considerations involved when looking for someone to disciple. We formulated two lists; one called The Green Lights and one called The Red Lights.

We would love to share these with you. Much of the ideas included in this blog come from the insights of experienced disciplers and from the principles found in the New Testament (Luke 10:5-12, 2 Timothy 2:2, 3:10-17, Philipians 3:15-17).

The Green Lights  - Signs to look for:

  1. Look for someone who has a desire to grow...
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Why don't our discipling models produce genuine transformation?

Nowadays, discipleship maybe a buzz word and a puzzling work, all at the same time.

Empirical research paints a bleak picture of our current discipleship approaches in the West. As documented in the Transformational Discipleship book, research amongst born again church-goers in the USA indicates that our discipleship models do not have the slightest resemblance to what is required to produce transformation (Geiger, Kelley & Nation, 2012, p. 12).

Invariably, within our churches, pastors, leaders and disciplers invest a significant amount of time and energy to support members’ spiritual development. We offer biblically-sound sermons, well-coordinated activities and fellowship-oriented Small Groups. We work hard, don’t we?

Yet, why is our hard work isn’t resulting in effective heart transformation?

Why are we struggling with our discipling endeavours?

Maybe we attempt to accomplish the GOAL of discipleship (transformation towards Christlikeness) with a faulty...

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Generous Parents: Discipling Your Family

discipler's skills Aug 12, 2021

Stinginess rips the heart out of the gospel message of Jesus who gave himself to us and everything else richly to enjoy. Generosity has nothing to do with how much we have… it’s how much we give… generosity tastes like Jesus love. 

I’m honoured to share with you these short stories from my family of origin. I pray that these 9 mini lessons can inspire you -as parents - to disciple your family memebrs informally- on a daily basis.

Today’s reflection is on generous parents.

Discipling by generosity!

If there’s one thing that my parents demonstrated in their poverty is insane generosity. My parents lavished their little resources to our benefits. They amazed us with their kindness, gifts and financial support even after we were all married.

Growing up, I was frustrated by my parents generosity. We were living in a two bedroom apartments in Cairo that had one family room, one bathroom and one kitchen. Dad consistently invited people to our...

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Enduring Parents: Discipling Your Family

discipler's skills Aug 05, 2021

Parents are often desperate to shelter their family members from painful experiences. But maybe protection from hardships produced spoilt Christians. Christians who follow Jesus when tangible blessings are up for grabs… but run for their lives when their comfort is threatened. 

I’m honoured to share with you these short stories from my family of origin. I pray that these 9 mini lessons can inspire you -as parents - to disciple your family members informally- on a daily basis.

Today’s reflection is on enduring parents.

Discipling by sharing and enduring suffering!

You might wonder what on earth has suffering to do with discipling?

My parents taught me form a very young age that suffering was a privilege not a problem. They repeatedly recited an Arabic song that stated: the signs of the way are correct, welcome hardship welcome- that’s the promise of Jesus to us.

My parents weren’t sadistic. They weren’t predicting some negative future for me....

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Role-modelling Parents: Discipling Your Family

discipler's skills Jul 29, 2021

People teach what they know but can only multiply who they are. Do you agree with this statement? 

I’m honoured to share with you these short stories from my family of origin. I pray that these 9 mini lessons can inspire you -as parents - to disciple your family members informally- on a daily basis.

Today’s reflection is on exemplary parents.

Discipling by role-modelling!

No one would ever argue that we learn by observations more than through knowledge transfer. Intuitively, we know that words are cheap. We want to be exposed to the real deal- the embodiment of the character of Jesus.

Growing up, I’ve observed mum’s walk with Jesus and it was breathtaking.

  • People around us embraced Christian assertions and beliefs. But Mum lived her faith.
  • People around us participated in Christian communities. But mum cared for people.
  • People around us taught godly living. But mum manifested an insanely circumspect life.
  • People around us prayed for Jesus’...
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Serving Parents: Discipling Your Family

discipler's skills Jul 22, 2021

It has been well articulated that life with Jesus is about service and not serve-us. We all love mottos like that, they make clever book markers, impressive Instagram posts and memorable sermon log lines. But they appear to be a rare currency in our Christian homes. 

I’m honoured to share with you these short stories from my family of origin. I pray that these 9 mini lessons can inspire you -as parents - to disciple your children informally- on a daily basis.

Today’s reflection is on serving parents

Discipling by service!

Growing up in Egypt, I read a book on servant heartedness in the Christian home. The truth is the book was never published. It was lived out in the privacy of our house through the selfless acts of my mum.

No one would ever understand the level of humility and sacrifice that led my mum to sacrifice all for our family. From the moment she married my dad, mum chose to forsake her studies in order to relocate to a different town where my dad was...

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