Jesus modeled relationship by being with His disciples. Being an intentional and relational leader means making time to spend with those you are discipling. Disciple Makers are more likely to accurately evaluate their disciples growth stages and aptitude if they spend time together. If Jesus had interacted with His disciples only once a week for an hour, His impact on them would have diminished greatly.
Some people believe that evaluation is done best through questionaries or aptitude tests, but none of these can replace face-to-face interaction. The only way intentional leaders get to to know their players is to be in relationship with them.
By spending time with the disciples, Jesus was able to respond to where they were in their growth as His followers. As they walked along to different destinations – He could observe their behavior and listen to their discussions. This allowed him to understand their motives.He could call out their arguments and give them a lesson that fit the situation perfectly. (Like in Mark 9:33-37 when he tells them the first shall be last!)
While He was with them, Jesus listened to what the disciples were saying so that He could teach them what they needed to learn.
Jim Putman, author of this blog, is writing a new book called The Death of Discipleship about the dynamics of pride and humility in the discipleship process. Download the free primer for this book here.
Here is something to think about – Jesus had a limited time to fulfill his mission here on Earth, and yet he chose to spend a very large portion of it simply spending time with twelve men. Hanging out with them, eating with them, walking beside them while going from place to place. Listening…
He obviously placed a high importance on the value of relationship. And after 3 years in relationship, those men went on to be disciples of Jesus who made other disciples of Jesus, and because of them and because of you – the world gets the chance to know Him.
I want to ask you a question and I would encourage you to answer it in the comments – don’t worry, there is no right or wrong. I honestly want to know the things you struggle with to help me better identify the things I can do to help you.
You and I may not have the opportunity to walk alongside each other and discuss things, but you get the opportunity to get to know me through my posts, and I would love to have the opportunity to get to know you through your comments!
Written by Jim Putman
This was originally posted on Jim Putman’s blog here. Used with permission.
Image Credit: Aron
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