Walt Henrichsen gives a great definition of discipleship in his book Disciples are Made: Not Born. “The key to effective discipleship is having on your heart what is on the heart of God while you are with people you are loving.”
So the key to discipleship is not moving through information and taking notes. While instruction is important, discipleship is life on life. Ministry travels at the speed of relationships. That’s why Paul says I’m not just going to impart to you the gospel of God, but my very life as well.
This is how Jesus made disciples. While he did lecture and teach, Jesus primarily said, “Let’s go and you guys watch me.” And later, that is how the disciples were recognized. In Acts 4 we see them recognized as “men who had been with Jesus.”
Discipleship is imparting our life. And if we are imparting anything other than the life of Christ, we are going to make disciples, just not biblical disciples.
Though we may have come to know Christ and been justified from our sin, we have yet to be glorified. Our relational problems and conflicts need to be seen for what they are, as sin problems.
The first thing we need to do is to get the log out of our own eye. Owning what you have contributed to the conflict is vital.
Next, be diligent to preserve the unity that God intends for us. We need to work at our communication and learn to really listen to and engage others well in the midst of conflict.
Todd Wagner is senior pastor at Watermark Community Church.
Keith Chancey is the president of Kanakuk Institute.