Book: Proverbs 23
“Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.” Proverbs 23:9
In the early years of our marriage, we sat under the ministry of a Pastor who taught us how to disciple others. He demonstrated healthy discipleship principles right from the beginning. He was not a person to waste time with individuals unwilling to be discipled but with those who were willing he spent as much time as needed.
This pastor taught us to test and see if a person was actually willing and ready to be discipled. His method was to give some kind of small assignment to the person and ask them to get back to him when they had completed it. It was usually reading a recommended article or short book depending on their scholastic ability. If they followed through by reading the assignment and contacting him, he would meet with them again and talk about the article/book. Before leaving that meeting this pastor would give a second assignment of another article/book and ask them again to contact him when they had completed the task. He would do this up to four times before formally asking if they would like him to disciple them. Even then he always left it to the disciple to determine how often they would meet. This process could take weeks, months or years depending on circumstances and the potential disciple’s readiness.
This pastor did not want to waste his breath on people who would just be hearers but not doers. (But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22). He wanted to be efficient and effective with his time for the Lord. Matthew 7:6 says, “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”
Your time is valuable and a holy gift from God so use it wisely in discipling relationships. Work with those who want to be worked with. If you are not discipling a person right now then I encourage you to take time to ask God to show you who that person is He wants you to work with. If you are already discipling a person, continually ask the Lord what He wants you to be teaching them.
If you have questions or would like to talk further about discipleship contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org