Wayne Sehmish – Manner of Life Discipleship

This not an alternative to the necessary teaching of Bible and doctrine…

2 Timothy 3:10-11

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me…. 

You have to be fairly close in to someone to know all those things about someone…

The Disciples could have made that same statement about Jesus

Definition:  The process by which a man is discipled and taught by a leader by means of pro-active personal engagement that is Christ-like, sometimes confronting, comforting, and compelling.

1.  THE MODEL

This model is seen in Jesus’ pro-active engagement in the lives of twelve men.

It is most clearly seen in the Scriptures when we study Jesus’ discipling of Peter.

Jesus loved the world, Jesus died for the world, but Jesus did not disciple the world. 

Jesus invested something in everyone, much in His followship, but most in just a few.

Discipleship is a mutual agreement.  You agree to disciple them, they agree to be discipled by you.

2.  THE MEN

Your Church should be organised at a discipleship level, even if it’s only in your mind.

You must be able to readily identify those still deciding, those who are in, those who are your core, and those who are your inner core.

Jesus had seventy, twelve, and three.

Jesus knew His sheep, you need to know your people and where they are at at any given moment.

This includes:         Where they are at with God.

         Where they are at with the Church.

         Where they are at with you

         Where they want to go.

3.  THE METHOD

Ask God to give you some loyal, committed men who believe in what God is doing in your local church or area of ministry.

Wait for God to reveal to you who they are.

Invite them to participate in the process of “manner of life” discipleship with you. (Call it what you will)

Explain to them its processes, its purpose, and its personal blessing. That it will help them go further in their walk with God and their work for God.

4.  THE MEANS:

1. You must love them.  They must know you love them.

Love gives you the right to involve yourself in their life.

You communicate your love four ways:  

  1. by your time
  2. by your truth
  3. by your touch
  4. by your treasure

The amount of liberty you have in someone’s life will be determined by the amount of love you have put in their life.

To gain the heart it to gain the ears…

That’s a enduring global principle that is true everywhere.

2. This will not work unless you purpose and prioritise to spend time with these men as a group, and individually.

The amount of time you spend with them, will be determined by how much you believe in and value this process.

3. You will initially define the basis of your relationship and receive their permission to pro-actively, and occasionally, confrontationally engage them.

4. You will wound them from time to time.

Fathers wound from time to time  –  Hebrews 12:6-9.

Friends wound from time to time  –  Proverbs  27:6

Pastors must wound from time to time.

The right kind of wounding will deepen your relationship, and strengthen the bond of love between you and your men.

5. Explain to them the principles in the Word of God, as they pertain to all practical areas of life.

Do this in formal settings, and at informal, not just scheduled meeting times .

These principles are the tools that will equip your men for productive, faithful local church ministry.

Praise them when they observe these principles.

Point out to them when they have contravened, or failed, to observe Bible principles.

6. Give them your loyalty.  Explain to them that you want their loyalty, but only they can decide whether to give that or not.

7. Expect more from them, and communicate that verbally, and by your actions. Give them opportunities that demonstrate your trust in them.

8. Demand honesty (Don’t lie to me) from your disciples, and give honesty back to them.  

This process will not work without mutual transparency.  

This transparency will make you a little more vulnerable, but the rewards will be worth it.

Transparency demonstrates trust in someone.

9.   The ultimate end is to develop their best for Christ.

What is best for them must ever be before the discipler.

Leaders who attempt to use this process to better themselves, will be found out.

Your ministry is there to build your people.  Your people are not there to build your ministry.

10. Requirements of the Discipler: (You)

  • knowledge of the Word of God
  • recognition and remembrance of the grace and mercy of God in your own life
  • a genuine desire to help people be all they can be
  • a willingness to be vulnerable and transparent
  • a tenacity to stay with someone and a willingness to endure  
  • a certainty and security about your own calling and life’s direction
  • a servant attitude, not a superiority attitude
  • a shepherd leader, not a task master
  • a commitment to communicate regularly
  • a willingness to say the difficult things
  • a person who can get to the core of the issue
  • a forgiving spirit
  • a secure, emotionally mature, stable leader
  • a willingness to prioritise prayer for these men

11. Requirements of the one being discipled:

  • an agreement to be involved in this process
  • an understanding of what the process will involve
  • a loyalty to the leader that is above other church members
  • honesty and transparency
  • ability to see correction as a stepping-stone
  • a commitment of time
  • a willingness to regularly communicate
  • a high personal work ethic
  • one who wants to serve the Lord with their life
  • a willingness to face who they are, and allow God to change them
  • a love for their leader that is practically demonstrated
  • a willingness to prioritise prayer for their leader