God is calling the non-expert lay person, the average Jesus-follower in every culture of all ages to make disciples and nurture other women and men. If you are looking for another, more confident believer to do life with, to model Christlikeness to you, look for someone beyond the stage.
There are people in every church who have retired and come to miss the purpose and ambition that developed through a career. They could devote their retirement years to being purposeful and ambitious for the nurturing of hearts. Those who are doing this are rare individuals in churches. They become spiritual fathers and mothers.
In most every church, there are hungry young adults– in school, in college, in early adulthood or even parenting young families who are ready to be nurtured by a more mature follower of Jesus. What makes discipleship intimidating is the challenge it issues to the core of a person. Access to the heart. God is calling us through the making of disciples to nurture the heart first.
Through forging a relationship, the more spiritually mature believer patterns herself after what Solomon said in Proverbs 23:26: “My Son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.” Nurturing begins with taking hold of someone’s heart. Finding the courage it takes to put your heart in the hands of another happens organically. Learning how to study the Bible, how to pray, how to memorize Scripture, and to practice other spiritual disciplines is critical, but these things can only be meaningfully learned when discussed in an atmosphere of nurtured trust.
Through instilling courage, words of reinforcement, and coaching, the disciple-maker models what Solomon taught in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Nurturing continues through protecting the hearts of those we disciple. The responsibility to protect the heart we are nurturing toward growth is huge! The wind blows a thousand messages into the path of the learner. Their heart must be nurtured to discern.
Ultimately, the disciple-maker teaches what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” Nurturing develops men and women whose hearts treasure Christ above all else.
Paul told the believers in Thessalonica, “We cared for you.” That is really special. Very personal.
Are you ready for forging that kind of relationship with another man or woman of God? Are you ready to let down your walls and care someone to a deeper walk with our Lord Jesus?