What is a Disciple-maker?
Take the next step to becoming a disciple-maker and help others in their walk with the Lord. Learn more in this podcast episode of Walking Our Talk.
Note: Below is a transcription of this Walking Our Talk podcast. Please excuse any grammatical or punctuation flaws, as the transcription is a written version of our fluid conversation.
Pauly [00:00:07] Welcome to walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller. Join our conversation as we discuss practical ways to apply spiritual principles to your everyday life and help you walk your talk one step at a time.
Alan [00:00:28] Welcome back to Walking Our Talk. This is Alan Heller with Pauly.
Pauly [00:00:33] Hello.
Alan [00:00:34] Good to see you.
Pauly [00:00:35] Yeah, you too.
Alan [00:00:36] And we love things better together. We say we don’t compete with each other. We complete each other. So we’re talking about discipleship. And we’re actually going to turn a corner and we’re going to talk about disciple-making. But we did talk last time a little bit about Greg and Laurie talked about the requirements to be a disciple. We talked about love God more than anyone else. That’s sort of a given. I would say. Number two is to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow him. Number three was to forsake all that you have, sort of like the rich young ruler. He was holding on to his possessions. And God doesn’t have any problem with wealth. He just wants us to use it for his purposes instead of ours. The requirement was to count the cost.
We’re going to be talking today about discipleship disciple-making. John 13:35 says this “by this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” And the problem with that word, love in English, we say, I love ice cream and I love Pauly. And certainly, there’s a big difference between that. And ice cream always wins.
Pauly [00:02:00] It’s a different quality of love.
Alan [00:02:02] Right. So the love that we’re talking about is God’s love and Godly love and especially as you discipling people, you have to learn to let them fail and let them fail forward, hopefully, be an encouragement to them rather than squashing their excitement about taking on a project or becoming a certain kind of person. But many times I think the book was written by Chuck Swindle called Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Backward. If you get that combination wrong, you’re going backward. If you two steps forward, three steps backward, that becomes a brand.
Pauly [00:02:44] Not making any forward movement.
Alan [00:02:47] But many times we have difficulty moving along in a maturing process. And really to be a disciple-maker, you just need to be a good disciple. And one of the easy acronyms that we use is if that’s the right word, is F.A.C.T.S. Faithful. It used to be F.A.T.S., faithful, available, and teachable. But then somebody added, “C”, F.A.C.T.S., for committed. In other words, if there’s no commitment and you’re faithful available, your teachable. But you’re not there. And you stop when it gets hard. So I like the word fact.
Pauly [00:03:28] Right. And, you know, I’ve been thinking, as you’ve been talking, that we both you and I became Christians as young adults. And so we didn’t grow up in Christian families. We didn’t grow up in the church. And becoming a follower of Christ, becoming a believer was such a big change in our lives. And we both jumped in to not just being a Christian and not just going to church, but into being disciples and being discipled by very committed disciple-makers.
Alan [00:04:11] Well, we didn’t think there was anything else. Did we?
Pauly [00:04:14] Well right, we were imprinted that way.
Alan [00:04:16] I was given a call and asked, do I want to do this? And I knew that you know, my Jewish mother was going to be wrote. I did about commitment. And so I had to think about that. And my father as well. And so we started in a different plane and we didn’t know anything, but we committed.
Pauly [00:04:37] Well, we write we didn’t know any different. And I couldn’t imagine that somebody would not be as committed to following Christ as I was. I couldn’t imagine that somebody wouldn’t want to tell other people about Jesus or wouldn’t want to follow him completely or allow him to change habits and patterns and just gives total guidance to their life.
And yet, as I gained experience in my walk with the Lord and met more church people, people who had grown up going to church, I ran into people who called themselves Christians but didn’t think of themselves as disciples. And we were asked that question and pondered the question. Can you really be a Christian and not be a disciple of Jesus?
Alan [00:05:40] And what was the answer?
Pauly [00:05:43] Well…
Alan [00:05:44] You got many different answers.
Pauly [00:05:45] And I think there are a lot of answers. And I think there are a lot of people who consider themselves to be Christians, but really don’t think of Christian in terms of being completely committed to Christ. They kind of walk with one foot in the world and one foot in the church and don’t have that idea of Jesus being their all in all, or Jesus just filling every moment of their lives. You know, it’s like, well, this part of my life belongs to Jesus. But then I have this whole thing over here.
Alan [00:06:26] Early in my Christian life, there is this little booklet. I don’t know if it’s by Trumble or somebody else called My Heart, Christ’s Home. And the parable went that, you know, you came in this house and the house represented your life and you invited God in. And he came into the foyer year and everything was fine. And he came into the living room and said, look at my beautiful living room. And that was fine. And even you could come up to my bedroom. That was fine. And then he started snooping around and he got to a closet that we had a whole bunch of junk in it. And I don’t want you to go in that closet. You know, if I don’t go in your closet, then I’m not really in your life. And I think that’s what happens with people. They three quarters give their life instead of totally committing their life.
And of course, all of us, what we do is we say, well, my experience doesn’t match this commitment that I’m making and I’m not perfect. And God says I died for all people. God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners. He died for us. So, he died when we were messy. So, we don’t have to clean up our act, but we do grow and mature and become a disciple by loving one another, by doing what he says. He says that happy are those who love me and do my commandments, not read them and have a good, quiet time and hope that some of it sticks.
Pauly [00:07:59] Right. And I think that because you are a counselor and but your counseling is Bible-based.
Alan [00:08:08] Right.
Pauly [00:08:09] So you’re doing biblical counseling. You’re not giving people a lot of psychological. Well, you need to think this way.
Alan [00:08:19] I do think this way because the Bible says you’re transformed by the renewing of your mind. And so, you know, there’s some crossover there with psychology. Psychology is about thinking.
Pauly [00:08:32] Right, how you think. But what do you base your thinking on then?
Alan [00:08:35] The word of God? Others based their thinking on psychology is the research and they’re comparing man to man. And what I say, psychology is basically defining every area of the flesh perfectly. But defining the flesh doesn’t give you victory, doesn’t give you the ability to overcome sin. So, I think many times psychology is just defining the things they’re naming, putting a name on something that’s a symptom rather than the real root cause. And certainly, there are chemical issues, but that’s like one or two percent of the cases and 98 percent is usually cognitive thinking, as well as not living life by my feelings and all that sort of thing. So. Yeah. Right. So different. It’s a different way of looking at helping people.
Pauly [00:09:30] So when you’re talking about discipleship, how does discipleship interact with your counseling?
Alan [00:09:41] Yeah, I think it’s hard to know where one ends and one begins. You know, we have many there are people that are good at defining things. And, you know, there are mentors. A mentor is somebody who is older, wiser, and has been through what you’ve been through. So, you have a mentor. Then there are people that are coaches and a coach. You see a coach on the sidelines. When they get on the field, the umps or the referees tell them, get off the field, you’re not a player, even though maybe they used to be a player and, in their mind, ready to go.
Pauly [00:10:17] Yeah, but they’re not the ones that are actually not out there doing so.
Alan [00:10:22] A coach is an encourager. He also has wisdom, like a mentor to be able to know what you should do. But he’s basically there to draw the X’s and O’s and then say you go out and do it in discipleship. I think as Jesus defined it, he chose people for himself. So a counselee may be coming to me out of their pain. And then the question is somewhere along the way. My goal would be they would be a disciple. In other words, they may be a disciple that’s in a critical condition. Emotionally, mentally or spiritually. We get them up and running and then they are a disciple that’s healthy now instead of a disciple of it’s not healthy, but discipleship in Jesus’s way of thinking was coming alongside somebody asking the father. I mean, he prayed about who he was going to choose.
So God chooses you as a disciple and then the disciple or walks with that person. And as somebody said, Jesus, pick them. And they watched him do what he did. He’ll raise the head, watched his character as he walked and talked with men and women. And so they watched him and then they did it with him. He took them out on these experiences where not only did he do it. He had them doing it. And then he said, you go. So, like, he sent to 70 and those guys had to go.
Alan [00:11:55] And they came back all excited. Wow. Jesus. People were here then. We’re so excited. And Jesus, in his wisdom says, just be glad that your name is written in the Book of Life. And all those other things are great. But the most important thing is that you have a relationship with me. So you watch him do it. You do it with him and give him some critique. Then you send them off. They do it. But he also inspects what he expects. So he brings them back and gives them good counsel and says, be thankful that your names are written in the book of life, even though you’re so emotionally excited about all these things that I did through you. So to me, discipleship is for me has been over the years, finding somebody in crisis, walking with him because pain is a great motivator, Pauly.
Pauly [00:12:48] Yeah.
Alan [00:12:49] In our lives, it drives us to do things sometimes if it’s out of fear. We can do the wrong thing. And what the Bible says is perfect love casts out fear. And so when things are fearful, when they’re hard and not that we don’t have hard things that are going on. But there should be a peace inside as we go through hard things when we’re walking in the power of the spirit with the Lord. And speaking of that, I just want to say, if you just tuned in, we’re Walk and Talk. This podcast is Walking Your Talk. Because we think it’s important to walk out what the word of God says. And we connect people with God and each other. And if you want to get more resources, just go to walkandtalk.org. So that’s what I think being a disciple is. Well, a discipler.
Alan [00:13:56] Now counseling and deciphering. When I’m counseling. I am taking a specific issue that this person has and what I call them are symptoms that really just. Many times when somebody says, well, we just don’t communicate. I mean, almost 90 percent of the people that come into my counseling office are, as couples are saying, communication is our issue. Well, definitely communication is your issue.
But I see they don’t see what I see selfishness is really your issue and your pride. And the fact that who is running your life in campus crusade or now it’s called crew. They used to have these circles that represented your life. And then there was a chair in the middle which represented a throne, which Americans don’t relate to. So really, it would be who is the CEO of your life? So if you’re on the center of your life and that’s what life revolves around, things you’re going to not work out very well. And Jesus is off the side. So for some people, he’s outside the life. For some people, he’s inside the life. But I got the steering wheel. Well, it’s a little different. When I move from the passenger side and end up in the driver’s seat. Then when Jesus is in the driver’s seat and I think there’s a country-western song on, you know, Jesus, take the wheel. That’s what we need to do. We need to pass the wheel to him and say, please take the wheel.
So I meet a person in crisis. I listen and empathize and work with them until I build trust. And then I walk with them through a crisis, sometimes in the middle of their argument. I’m saying call me when she does this or he does this. And so that in the midst of the emotion, there’s a lot more motivation to heal and to do the right thing when they’re coached in the midst of that. And so that’s a very specific thing. Counseling, coaching is really looking at the present and finding out how we can go in the future.
Counseling is looking at the past. And I’m not Freudian in how I work with people in that I don’t think there are answers in the past per se but trauma. And there’s many people that have experienced PTSD in their past and have never dealt with it and never knew they needed to forgive, confess. Let go of that past and give it to God rather than taking it on themselves and having ulcers and, you know, Bunyan’s.
Pauly [00:16:36] Or you know, all kinds of physiological or gastrointestinal issues.
Alan [00:16:39] When we keep stuffing it in, sometimes it ends up coming out in health issues. So counseling is looking at the past, helping them get through that to look to the future in coaching. It’s really taking somebody from where they are and helping them go into a much into their future and make a plan and stick to it and keep them accountable. Discipling to me is somewhere in between. I mean, you look at the disciples and how Jesus worked with them. A lot of them were in crisis. They were having a hard time. Jesus said, what do you want? And he made a guy who was sitting at the pool, the Bethsaida, for 32 years. The waters got troubled. Nobody would get him in there. And Jesus said, get up, go in. And he got healed. Well, you think he might be a disciple after that?
Alan [00:17:28] And I think disciple means a learner. And so it’s not just five-step program. And you read these books and get these things. I mean, that’s the Western way of thinking. And is it of disciples is you’ve got 13 weeks. You do your program now, you’ve been disciples,
Pauly [00:17:46] Read all the books, fill in all the answers.
Alan [00:17:49] But here at the end of Paul’s life, he says in Romans seven, I do the very thing I don’t want to do, the very thing I want to do, I find myself not doing who set me free from this law of sin and death. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ. He has set me free from the law of sin and death. And then he goes on an 8:1 and says there is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus. So much of the time as I’m connecting people with God and each other. I’m trying to help them understand first who God is and then who God says they are, and then walk out in very practical ways, which maybe we could talk about next time is what are the practical ways that we give people to walk their talk?
Pauly [00:18:37] I think that’s a great idea because what I’m hearing and what you just said is that Paul was saying, look, I. I struggle. I have walked with the Risen Christ all of these years. And I still struggle with my flesh.
Alan [00:18:55] And wrote three-quarters of the New Testament.
Pauly [00:18:57] Right. Right.
Alan [00:18:59] But he’s still fighting the good fight. But he says forgetting what lies behind. I press on to the goal of my high calling, which is Christ in you.
Pauly [00:19:12] Right. So he says the struggle is real. The struggle is ongoing. The struggle is daily. But the answer is real. And the victory. The victory is real. And the victory is daily. And it’s there for you as long as you are making that choice.
Alan [00:19:29] So we need to give them some practical tools. And next, podcasts, we hope you’ll tune in and we’ll talk about some practical things of what a disciple-maker does as well as I mean, if you’re a disciple-maker, you have to be a disciple. And we look forward to being with you next time. Thanks, Pauly, for all your great insights there. That’s great. And we just look forward to helping you walk your talk.
Pauly [00:19:58] This has been walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller, where we put into action those principles. We know from God’s word one step at a time. You can find more help on our website: walkandtalk.org.