I became a grandma at the age of 23! :0)
It happened when one of the girls I’d been discipling shared with a neighbor about Jesus. After this neighbor came to know Him, my friend began passing on to her what we’d been doing. When I went to visit it was such a treat to meet my first grandbaby! Imagine my surprise when I learned she was almost double my age! Got to love the miracle of spiritual reproduction!
Paul writes to Timothy, “And the things you’ve heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be able to teach others.” 2 Timothy 2:2
There are four generations represented in that verse… can you spot them?
Now there are all sorts of organizations devoted to discipleship, and it can take many shapes and forms, but I’ve found most of them focus on just getting one generation established. If you want to see spiritual “generations” take place there needs to be intentionality and certain things taken into consideration. It needs to be something on your heart! And clear in what you’re aiming towards. It must influence what you do!
For example, I once knew a woman who many considered an amazing discipler. She would show up for her one on ones with elaborate Bible studies and handouts. When she met with women they did go deep into the scriptures and the content was extensive and intense! The problem was those she met with never thought they could disciple because they couldn’t do what she did!
When you are discipling with the desire to see spiritual generations take place there is much value in adhering to the old acronym K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sweetie! :0)
And the more organized something is, the more pass-on-able it is!
This is one reason why I love to use the Look -Listen- Live it Out format for sharing a quiet time with someone. It’s not only been life changing for me, but it’s also simple, easy to remember, and very easy to do with someone else! (There’s an article on how to do this in the Helps section).
From the beginning of meeting with someone I seek to mention their future “children” often (eg., “When you have a shared quiet time with someone you will want to…”). I want them to catch a vision for this, to understand this isn’t something an elect few do, but something the Lord has called all believers to do! (Matthew 28:19) I want them to experience the joy John writes about in 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (and note in the context John isn’t writing about his physical children, but those whom he has invested in spiritually!).
There is a special joy that comes when you intentionally join in with what the Lord is doing in the life of another believer. And that joy is magnified when they turn around and, walking in the truth, start investing in others.
This isn’t just for the good of the next generation! There is nothing that’s kept me pressing on after Jesus, like having younger believers whom I’m investing in. When I’m helping them learn how to feast on the Word, does it ever spur me on to continue to do so myself! Honest! My best seasons of faithfully memorizing and reviewing scripture really do occur when I’m helping someone else with this! If I want those I’m discipling to finish strong, persevering as Jesus’ disciple throughout their entire life one of the best things I can do is prepare them to disciple others!
And can you imagine the delight that will await in heaven when we get to meet all those generations who have followed?!
Don’t set your sights too low. Don’t just disciple to help one person in one generation get on their feet. Pray for and plan for those grandbabies, and great grandbabies and great, great grandbabies… for spiritual generations who will continue to follow Jesus as His disciples and help others do so too until the day He returns!