As a college student, my early disciplers and mentors passed along to me a heart for the Scriptures and the know-how to study and incorporate their truths in my life—what a gift! But how do you do that, especially with busy people? We hear it from every direction, people saying, “The emerging generations are losing their grip on God’s Word.” If we lose the Scriptures, we lose the war.
The Bible is central to disciplemaking. It is the power for change in disciplemaking. The Scriptures give testimony to their importance in changing the life of a believer:
Jesus prayed: “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
The psalmist testified: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).
Paul taught his disciple, Timothy: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
If we go “Bible light” in how we disciple others, we will build shallow-rooted believers. Effective disciplemaking is biblical.
Unfortunately, sometimes Bible people have been known as harsh or mean-spirited. I was fortunate to have the people who gave me a love for the Scriptures embody three key characteristics:
• Right sized. For Bible study skills to be embraced and pass-on-able, they must be simple and fit the person’s season of life. Most believers do not need seminary-level inductive Bible study. If our disciplemaking is going to be loved and do-able by everyday people from different backgrounds, of varied education, with full lives, it must be right-sized.
• Simple. One of our Navigator legends, Warren Myers, developed what he called, “Bible Study for Busy People” He knew what it took to disciple busy people in business and life. Try this uncomplicated method of getting people into the Scriptures.
• Creative and Fun. As I’ve mentioned before, as a young believer I was intense and needed to learn to have fun and be creative. God brought some wonderfully creative and fun mentors into my life. Using stories and modern-day metaphors will give those we disciple a hunger for the Word of God.
Keeping it simple: Jesus modeled these principles. He didn’t make Galilean fishermen into theologians, but right-sized their study of the Scriptures. His approach helped them know and apply the Scriptures in practical ways as they walked through life. The Scriptures were accessible and not complicated. Jesus used parables and everyday situations to create memorable moments with His disciples.
Let’s press into scripture as we press into relationship with those we seek to disciple. We can adapt our methods with simplicity, applicability, and creativity— but the centrality of scripture must remain firm.