When it came to talking about the notion of becoming a true and faithful disciple, Jesus spent a lot of time explaining to his disciples that it would come at a cost….
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
“So then, none of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
The Cost of Becoming A True Disciple
The cost of becoming disciple will be different for each person. For some there’s a deep fear of ridicule, rejection or persecution and for others there are material things or even habits and or areas of our lives that God would require us to give up in order to grow. Most leaders could think of at least one thing that being a disciple of Jesus has cost them.
John Maxwell says “we need to give up to go up.”
There is a cost for leadership, there is a cost for following Jesus, and there is a cost for being His disciple. Being prepared to constantly pay the cost in our own lives as leaders sets us up to successfully disciple others. After all, a true disciple of Jesus is someone who makes disciples. Living as a disciple of Jesus ourselves is noticed by the teenagers we disciple. They will imitate you as you imitate Christ.
There is a cost related to being a disciple. It’s a cost we should all be prepared to pay, but there is also a cost that every leader should not be ok with, and that is the cost that our teenagers pay when their leader neglects to disciple them…
The Cost of Not Making Disciples
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
When we neglect to make disciples out of the teens in our youth ministry our teens lose distinction from their unsaved friends, and are short changed of all the things God has for their lives. Are the teens in your youth ministry really winning great victories over pornography, promiscuity, depression & their insecurities? God has placed you as a leader into your teens lives to disciple them, grow them and to champion them on as they learn how to deal with the areas of struggle in their lives. If we fail to make disciples out of our teens they are the ones that lose out.
This is the cost of not making disciples: when we don’t disciple, teens don’t grow.
A biblical view of what healthy discipleship looks like
The first disciples in Jerusalem set a good example of how to disciple. They were gathered together to do the following things:
1. To study the Apostle’s teaching/doctrine – and apply it to their lives – They would talk about God.
2. To have deep and rich fellowship – to encourage one another to grow strong in the faith and share their faith with others – they would encourage and challenge each other.
3. To break bread together – that is, to partake in the Lord’s Supper and worship Christ for what he did on the cross – They did life together.
4. And to pray – for each other, for their leaders, for the lost, for the people they were sharing the Gospel with, for the people they were discipling – They were there for each other.
They were seeing the fruit of the Spirit grow in their own lives, and they were seeing people come to Christ day by day.
Because of the way they created disciples the Church grew in depth and in numbers.
This is a true culture of discipleship. This is the standard. This is what Christ demonstrated to these people and what he wants all leaders to aim for; and by God’s grace it is reachable. So let’s reach it. Don’t let our teenagers experience the cost of not being discipled. Make a decision and then ask God for his help to become a great disciple and a great discipler!
Here are two simple questions to ask yourself:
1. Who are you strategically pursuing in order to have them invest into you?
2. Who are you investing into?