Keep It Simple, Sweetie!

Now there is not just one way to enjoy a quiet time or do scripture memory or pray or spend extended time alone with the Lord.  Different methods work for different people at different times.

However, when you are first teaching someone how to do something it is wise to start with showing them just one way – later on you can always teach them alternative methods or tweak what you showed them to better suit their personality and preferences.

But if you try to show more than one method at a time it usually adds confusion and what you’ve intended to help can actually end up being a hindrance as they then have to choose what to start with before they even start.

As they say with the old acronym KISS – Keep it simple, sweetie!

So how do you select which one to start with?

I usually start with the method that’s worked best for me so I’m passing on what’s impacted me and helped me the most.  Whether it’s what will ultimately work best for them or not, I am letting them see more of my walk with Jesus – and that is so important.

But there are exceptions to starting this way– especially if someone struggles with a handicap.  Once my husband was meeting with a guy who seemed so eager to get together and grow but whenever Jim would challenge him to read something, even the Bible, on his own he never did.  It was so perplexing.

Then we found out he had an extreme case of dyslexia and couldn’t read. This definitely requires adjustments!  Once that came to light Jim started having him listen to the Word – what a difference that made!!!

So again, don’t follow a set plan, follow Jesus!

It also really helps if the first method you teach is well organized and easy to remember. Not only does this help her know how to do it the next day when she is on her own, but she is more likely to pass on something simple

For example, when I teach women how to enjoy a quiet time I follow the outline: Look, Listen, Live It Out (you can read more about this in the Helps section). It’s not that this is the only way, but it’s what I’ve been doing for thirty years and benefiting greatly from!  Plus, it’s simple and easy to remember and still covers the three key parts I have found so vital for being transformed by my time with Jesus – focusing, meditating, and application.

Over and over I am amazed at how many women, after just sharing one quiet time with me turn around and do this with someone else!  I truly have found the more simple, organized and memorable something is the more likely it is to be passed on.  This is key for discipling generationally!!!

And please note, keeping it simple, isn’t just of value when you are meeting one on one with someone – if you are ever asked to give a workshop, keep it simple!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with students after they’ve attended introductory workshops on a spiritual discipline and they never got around to doing it because they were immobilized by all the options.

Instead, whether you’re doing a workshop or showing a woman one on one take time to do the discipline together!  Don’t just tell how to do something!  Model it and let it be experienced… and be amazed at how much more likely people are to do this on their own after actually doing it with you!

And, if possible, don’t just do it with her once.  We live in an information based society – where we’re always seeking something new.  And it’s easy when discipling to think – I’ve showed her once, now let’s move onto the next topic.  Remember it takes six weeks for something to become a habit.  Since the goal isn’t for her to know about spiritual disciplines, but to do them so she can be transformed as the Lord works through them, you have to take this into account!

It is not uncommon for me to dedicate at least six weeks (if not double!) focusing on one spiritual discipline.  Yep!  All we focus on week after week is doing that one discipline together, helping her not just learn how to do it, but giving opportunity for it to be incorporated into her life.

For this to happen there not only needs to be repetition, she also needs time to experience the life changing benefit of doing this so she’ll be motivated to keep doing it even after we’ve moved on to something else – or when I’m no longer around!

So keep it simple, sweetie!  This simple principle really can help you – and those you’re meeting with get off to a good start!

Get Ready For Grandkids!!!

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!