Yep, you read that right. Scary. Relational discipleship can be scary and here is why.

1. We lose control.

Since relational discipleship is dependent on the disciple, there is no fixed timeline. We cannot determine the point of maturity, when crisis occur, or the choices people make.

They start off on the right path, but halfway down, they might take a detour and we have to let them, so they can learn things only God can teach them.

We have to wait and work in partnership with the Spirit, reeling in at times but at others, releasing and waiting for them to return.

2. It deals with real life, and real life is messy.

It is not convenient. It means bearing the burden of others, weathering through the crisis and storms of others.

We have enough in our own lives to deal with, why would we want to add to our lives the drama of others?

It is in the turmoil and chaos that we earn influence and build authentic relationships. It is in the messy that our voice and influence is most needed.

3. You have to earn your influence.

Relational discipleship is by permission. The disciple needs to give you permission to disciple them. We cannot force ourselves on them.

Building trust and developing authentic relationships take time. This means that we will face rejection sometimes, and we will have to get close enough that it will hurt.

Why it’s worth it

So why do we still do it? Because it is the only way to live life. Anything less than this is unfulfilling and purposeless.

Jesus showed us this example. He gave us a choice, drew us by His love, was patient with our indecision and waited till we willingly chose Him.

What did that do to us? We remain forever grateful, loyal and indebted to the One who never gave up on us and saw beyond who we were to who we were meant to be.

Jesus did that for you, now it’s your turn to do it for someone else.