Characteristics of a Spiritual Discipler
1. Spiritual Maturity - This does not mean the discipler is perfect, but that the discipler is further down the Christian life than the disciple. Also, spiritual maturity can not just be measured by time alone; there are many that have been believers for 10 years yet have never grown. A spiritually mature discipler has learned through both mistakes and successes, knows God, has experience in the Christian life and is walking in the Spirit.
2. Transparency – Disciplers must be open and honest. The spiritual discipler will share their past and present; their strengths, fears and joys. There is no place for hypocrisy or pretense in discipleship. The spiritual discipler knows that in a discipleship relationship there are two teachers and two learners at the same time.
3. Example – A spiritual discipler will guide by example first and instruction second-they live what they teach. Acts 1:1 says that the Gospel according to Luke was the beginning of all that Jesus would do and teach. The order of those two words is very important. The spiritual discipler will move their disciple into a living relationship with Christ because he or she will not always be around. The disciple needs a continuous relationship with Christ who dwells within; not a list of what a spiritual believer is. The spiritual discipler shows this by their life.
4. Unconditional love – A spiritual discipler will love their disciple because they are aware of the potential in the disciple. They know the great possibilities Christ has for their disciple and will do everything possible to help them grow.
5. Patience – Spiritual disciplers never try to rush the growth process, and they know that each disciple has individual needs and pace. The spiritual discipler knows that God has His own plans and purpose for His disciple.
6. Availability – A spiritual discipler must always be available, especially when the disciple is in trouble. The discipler knows when it is important to stay close to their disciple; which is also the reason a discipler should not have too many disciples at the same time.
7. Submission – A spiritual discipler knows that we always need accountability and leadership. They know there are blind spots, undeveloped areas and possible deceptions from our Enemy. Therefore, a spiritual discipler operates in unison with their local church.
8. Perspective – As their disciple shares the experiences of daily life, the discipler can often put these events into proper perspective. A spiritual discipler must properly interpret what is going on and why.
9. Forgiveness – A spiritual discipler helps his disciple seek God’s forgiveness and the forgivness of others who have been offended by the disciple directly.
10. Recognizing Danger – A spiritual discipler has learned the signs of approaching trouble and can help their disciple recognize what they may not see by themselves. For example, the disciple may be keeping the wrong company, neglecting their spouse or children, not properly discipling their children, living above their income and possibly more, and it is the disciplers job to illuminate and edify.
11. Encouragement – We all need consistent encouragement if we are to grow. Spiritual disciplers know how important encouragement is to their own life.
12. Instructors – A disciple needs ongoing instruction and accountability in the basic disciplines of the Christian life – how to know the Bible, how to pray effectively, how to know God, how to forgive, how to overcome sin etc. . A spiritual discipler will add knowledge and assist in putting the knowledge into practice.
13. Facilitator – A spiritual discipler will not need to have a specific answer for everything, yet they can help their disciple find their own answers from the Lord.
14. Provides fellowship – A spiritual discipler will be a true companion in Christ. The discipler and disciple will not just be an assigned to one another but to a relationship centered on Christ. You will never have enough full-time workers to reach your town, city, province or country. Only as every member becomes a minister can nations be reached.
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