My friends know that I am a “get er’ done” kind of guy. (I’ll be transparent… even those who don’t know me well pick up on that pretty quick.) A fast paced, task focused, checklist kind of guy.
This quality can be helpful in some areas, but it can also be harmful to relationships…
Meaningful relationships are not hurried.
They are not forced or rushed.
Relationships are not something to check off the list.
Or a project to complete.
Our team has a saying… people over projects. Over time, I’ve had to learn a new set of skills to follow Jesus’ example and become a relational disciple-maker.
Following Jesus’ example and becoming a more relational person has transformed my meaningful relationships. My marriage is stronger. I’m a better dad. I’ve matured as a pastor – especially in the way I listen before I give counsel or input. My discipleship relationships are so much better.
Perhaps more than anything else, relational discipleship is changing my devotional life –
it has changed my relationship with God.
How has relational discipleship changed my personal time with God?
- I slow down.
My alarm goes off and I start to think about what I need to do. The demands of the day are knocking at my door. I have responsibilities to fulfill, commitments to honor. What’s that? Time alone with Jesus? Yes, that is something on my to-do list. I better get that done so I can…
Pause. (Pausing is relational.) Can you relate? Meaningful relationships are not rushed or hurried; they are cultivated and nurtured. Relational discipleship has reshaped my time with Jesus. I realized I was treating my devotional life like a task. (Sometimes this still happens, but God is changing me.) Instead of trying to finish my daily reading plan, my time with Jesus has become more conversational, more personal, and much more relational as I apply the principles of relational discipleship to my time with Him.
- I meditate on Scripture and listen to Jesus.
Every week in my small group, disciples of Jesus intentionally gather to slow down and meditate on God’s Word. In group, we hear the same passage of Scripture three times in a row (tell the story, rebuild the story, read the story). What are we doing? We are meditating on God’s Word. Then we ask questions to help us hear what God wants to say.I discovered that God wants me to take this same practice into my time with Him. The relational skills I learn and practice every week in group are very relevant to my personal time with Jesus. He wants me to meditate on His Word and be an active listener. The strategy and guidelines that have helped me become a relational person in small group and beyond have also enriched my personal time with God.
- I pause.
The pause has changed my time with Jesus and how I relate to Him. I used to close my Bible and move to the next thing. Now, I am practicing the pause. I wait a moment when I finish reading. I listen. I assume God wants to talk to me. He does.
- Sometimes He speaks a truth or blessing over me.
- Sometimes He shows me a weakness or a need for transparency in my life.
- Sometimes He gives me an assignment to go show His love to others.
Whatever it is, what God says during that pause changes my day. It changes my perspective. It helps me be more like Jesus.
What’s your plan for your time with God tomorrow?
- Set aside enough time to be relational with God in your quiet time.
- Meditate on His Word and ask questions that help you listen for His voice.
- When you finish, PAUSE. Don’t move until you have heard Jesus lead you.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
-Jesus (in John 10:27)
This post originally appeared at: Get er’ done! | Relational Discipleship Network (rdn1.com)