Too Scared to Disciple Others?

In one of his letters to Timothy, Paul writes, “All Scripture Is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (2 Timothy 3:16- 4:2)

The Lord told me to become a small group leader long before I felt able to disciple others. I had been a follower of Christ for less than a year and really did not know what I was doing. But out of obedience, scared to death, I started leading a group of seventh grade girls at my church. I have been with them for two years now. Paul’s charge to “be ready in season and out of season” has been so applicable to my time with these girls. I really do life with them. We have small group every Sunday, Bible study every Tuesday, and I try to hang out with at least one girl individually each week. They also read my Facebook and Twitter. So if I am having a bad day, or am not listening very well to the Holy Spirit, it does not matter; they, and the Lord, expect me to be able to pour the Word into them. One time, I drove to Tuesday night Bible study, praying the whole time about how Spiritually empty I felt. I arrived and told my co-leader that she needed to lead. She had planned to, so it was no problem. She started teaching, and two minutes into it, a girl stopped her to ask me a question about something in Scripture. I ended up teaching the whole night, and it went really well. I was shocked by the Scripture coming out of my mouth, but because she was asking about something I had studied, it was buried in my heart. On the way home, I asked God for an explanation. He reminded me of the 2 Timothy passage above.

I recently went to India for three weeks on a short term mission trip. The trip was very evangelism-focused, but part of the trip was discipling local believers. I was connected with a beautiful woman named Sunita, who I was expected to disciple. The first time that I met Sunita, she shared her testimony with me. She has an incredible story, and is such a woman of faith. She once found out she had tuberculosis, prayed, and the Lord took it away. She never worries about anything because she trusts our Lord so much. I remember walking away from that time praying, “Lord, I am going to disciple her? More like the other way around. What on earth can I teach her?” Shortly after that, I learned that Sunita is illiterate. My discipleship time with her was spent reading Scripture to her and discussing it. It was so fruitful, and we both were blessed.

With both of these situations, I see common themes supported by Scripture:

1. I am unable to disciple on my own. Both times that I entered a situation where I was expected to pour into others, the Lord called me when I felt completely inadequate. He does that.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” 1 Cor1:26-31

 2. The Word is what really did the work. The Word of the Lord is so good. It is no coincidence that Paul reminds Timothy of just how good Scripture is before he solemnly charges him to preach, and later, to “fulfill [his] ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). I really believe that the most important thing that you or I could do as someone who disciples others is know the Word and share it. God’s words are so much more powerful than ours and can accomplish so much more! If our goal is to train people who are “adequate, equipped for every good work,” they need to know the Word. And if we are pouring into them, we need to know it too.

If you are feeling inadequate or unable to disciple, my encouragement to you is to get into the Word and start discipling others. The Holy Spirit does the hard part by translating this Word that is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, [and] for training in righteousness.” I pray that the Lord makes me more able to live out Paul’s words to Timothy. I encourage you to do the same. When it comes to discipleship, I really believe that we cannot love God’s Word enough.


 Kristina is a attends University of Georgia and is a Theater major. She first came to Transform Student Ministries as a Boot Camper, then, came back several years later as one of our Summer Interns, and has staffed at Boot Camp. Kristina loves the Lord with all her heart, and wants to follow Him fully! Her love for the Lord is contagious. 

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