Disciple-making requires access to your life. How do you train someone to live the way you do if they never hang out with you? I think this word “ACCESS” is so important. Access can be given to those you disciple many different ways today:
Giving access requires giving your time, treasure, and talents. It really is spiritual parenting. This is why disciple-making happens best in the context of family. Think about it. Children cost money and require tons of time and supernatural talents (my wife could wipe our baby's butt with one baby wipe and it took me almost the whole box). Disciple-making is like spiritual parenting. It requires access to your life and heart.
Look at the language in the Bible regarding disciple-making. It is familial language:
Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 / Psalm 78:1-8 / Proverbs 6:20 / 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 / Galatians 4:19 / Ephesians 6:1-4 / 2 Timothy 2:2 (pastor of local church family)
As you read through the verses above you may have felt overwhelmed with responsibility. This is why it’s difficult to disciple more than a small group at a time. I love the quote, “Do for one what you cannot do for many.” If every Christian knew it was their job to make disciple-makers it would change everything, especially the family.
My Dad relates disciple-making to shoveling snow. Imagine if there was a huge snow fall and a church family of about one hundred homes relied on the pastor to shovel their snow. The people who lived the closest to the pastor would be happy because they still might get to work on time. Yet, most would be stuck in their homes for days and would be very angry with the pastor because he could not shovel fast enough to meet their expectations.
Now, imagine if that pastor had taught each family in the church how to shovel their own snow before the first big snow fall, and even encouraged them to help someone else when they were done. Everyone in the church would be so happy because everyone would get to work on time and be taken care of in a timely manner. The pastor would even have a better sermon that week with all the extra study time.
This is how disciple-making works. The pastor does not have the time to disciple everyone. But, imagine if each parent was taught how to disciple their own child(ren) and then help others do the same. This truly changes everything.
Access starts at home with your family, then, it moves out to your sphere of influence. My wife likes it when I answer her phone calls and reply to her text messages right away. It shows her how much I value our relationship. I like how my Dad always answers my phone calls or calls me back within a couple hours after his meeting to check in. This shows value. Access is a powerful disciple-making tool.
Again, you cannot give access to everyone. This is why access starts in the home and then moves out into your sphere of influence. This is why you have to select who you will intentionally invest your time into for a season. For many of you this means only a few extra intentional disciple-making friendships outside your child(ren) and/or grandchild(ren).
Who will you give access to your life?
May you learn how to give ACCESS to those you are discipling in your life.