The disciple maker is a nurturer. You are called to develop or to bring out courage in the heart of the woman or man God has brought to you. To be someone in the life of another who lovingly develops or brings out courage is such a tremendous gift all by itself.
Encouragement can come in so many forms. Through a text during the day that says, “I just thought about you and prayed for you.” Through verbally pointing out a great character trait or personality trait you see in them. Through communicating to them, “Even if you feel invisible, I see you and I hear you.” Everyone needs courage.
Regardless of how encouragement is packaged, it holds the same message – You already possess inside of you what it takes to _______________ (fill in the blank).
It might surprise you to know that a lot of women and men around you feel powerless and discouraged. People you might even see as models of strength and holy fervor, they struggle from time to time with that feeling of being stuck. Being lost. Being forgotten and alone. Incapable. Fearful. They need the encouragement that comes from a nurturing disciple maker who has the eyes and heart of Jesus.
In Proverbs 24:26, the BIble says, “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” This is true because “wicked people” really have no encouragement. They have no one there who believes in them. No one who really loves them. They don’t have a life-giving community like the righteous people do. They don’t have someone like you pouring courage into them.
Not that any of us is truly righteous, but through Jesus we are made righteous. We are a holy community of saints living off the Grace of our heavenly Father. Together we continue to rise because we encourage each other.
Through the life of discipleship, you are able to speak encouragement into the life of a lesser mature or less confident believer. They may even be falling now. They will definitely fall sometime later. But through your laser-focused encouragement as a spiritual parent, you will equip them with the courage to rise again.
Romans 15:1 says that we who are stronger in the faith ought to help the weak in order to build them up in the faith. That’s encouragement.
Do you see Jesus instilling courage in his disciples through the Gospels? He did it through a very creative way! He gave people nicknames. Peter for example. Peter was actually the name Jesus gave him. His original name was Simon which wasn’t a bad name. But Jesus saw in him something He could bring out of him.
So he called him, “Petros” or Peter the way we would say it. It meant “Rock”. And he certainly became that in his life though he wavered in his faith and denied Jesus. How would you like to instill something that motivating, that life-giving in the heart of another person? You really do have the power of Jesus to turn a Simon into a Petros. It’s in you to do that.
Imagine yourself being one of Jesus’ disciples and Him giving you a name to signify something great He would work in you. What an encouragement that would be. To live by a name that reminded you that Jesus believed in what you would become.
A disciple-maker does the work of Jesus in the flesh: He or she sees and helps another woman or man see what they will become and brings it out in them through encouragement.