The church is the means by which the saints grow to maturity. The mature instruct, encourage, correct, and model Christian living to the growing. Each saint contributes their part by exercising their gifts and offering their experiences for the edification of each other.
Multigenerational discipleship is more than intellectual exchange. But rather, its assisting the whole person towards freedom from all the enemy’s entanglements and into walking in victory in the power and leading of the Holy Spirit. Influence is earned by developing trust through relationships. We aren’t granted authority to control, rather the opportunity to persuade, by demonstrating the truth and value of abiding in the Narrow Way.
Recognizing Christ’s command to make disciples and teaching them to do the same, we see multi-generational discipleship as God’s prescribed method of populating the earth with kingdom citizens (Matthew 28:18-20). We see this model in action in the multi-generational discipleship chain from Jesus to Barnabas to Paul to Timothy to faithful men who would teach others (2 Timothy 2:2).
Kingdom expansion is not for the faint at heart. As Paul stated to the newly established churches:
...strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
Conversion is not the mission: making disciples is the mission. And disciples are those ready and willing to count the cost and surrender all for Christ (Luke 14:26-31). Christ did not soften His message to appeal to the masses, nor should we. His offer for redemption, forgiveness, love, acceptance, and eternal inheritance is unbelievably awesome and amazing, but He never promised it would be easy.
An excellent multi-generational discipleship tool for those lacking experience for taking disciples from inexperience to maturity is the book Christianity Arising. The book is designed to be read with a group with accompanying exercises to permit the Holy Spirit to process each participants’ needs together. If such a group is not possible, plan to attend a Christianity Arising Conference in person. They are scheduled multiple times per year in Southern Indiana and are free to attend.
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