“I want to disciple someone, but I don’t know enough.”
“I don’t have the confidence to disciple others.”
“What if my disciple asks me a question and I don’t know the answer?”
One of the reasons Christians don’t disciple others is because they mistakenly believe they don’t know enough to help another along in their spiritual journey. They feel paralyzed by the fear of not having enough information or experience spiritually to help others.
When Jesus had his public ministry on Earth, it lasted approximately three years. This means His disciples had, at the max, three years of experience and knowledge to begin to disciple others. When Jesus was in the midst of his ministry, He was already sending them out to help others (before the three-year mark)!
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ’The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Luke 10:1, 2
You could surmise that if you have been a Christ follower for at least three years, participate in Bible studies and attend church on Sunday mornings, you possess something of spiritual value to pass on to others.
Keep in mind you gain valuable knowledge and experience as you disciple others. When I was discipling others, questions would come up I did not know the answers to! Those tricky questions would push me to find the answers and thus gain knowledge. I have been discipling others for over 30 years now and I am still learning!
Tips for gaining confidence in discipleship
1. Realize you will never know it ALL and this is where you can trust God will help you. He wants you to disciple others with what you have right now. Don’t put off the Lord’s command to make disciples until you know more; simply get started with what you currently know.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20
2. When your disciple asks a question which stumps you, say, “That is a great question! Let me do some research and I will give you the best answer next week.” Don’t feel like you have to have the answers immediately. That would be intimidating for anyone!
3. Teach your disciple HOW you find the answers. I show my disciples where to go to find answers to their questions. Great resources are:
- GotQuestions.org — This biblically-solid website is filled with tons of answers about the Bible, Christianity, and commonly asked questions of a spiritual nature.
- Bible Commentaries — These books are filled with the helpful insight of seminary professors who have made studying and teaching the Bible their profession. The main commentary I use is called The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck.
- My book, Discipling Women — This book is filled with information about how to disciple women and what to do on a discipleship appointment, as well as discipleship Q & A. It also offers insight into nine issues women face such as sexual abuse, abortion, eating disorders, father-daughter issues, etc.
- My Bible study, Start Here — This six-week Bible study is the first six lessons I recommend every person initially go through with their disciple. If you hit a stumbling block, all the answers are in the back! There are two versions of this study – one for men and another for women.
Many Christians are not passing the baton of our faith to others out of fear of not knowing enough. Don’t let this be a hindrance. Countless people are looking for another to get in their boat spiritually and help them navigate a walk with God. Realize that you will never have all the answers. Instead, follow Jesus as he commanded to ‘Go and make disciples’ anyway. You don’t want to miss out on the thrill and joy of helping others grow in Christ!