The Controlling Principle to Discipleship

As part of my men’s group this past month, we read one of my favorite books: Robert Coleman’s The Master Plan of Evangelism. While I have read the book multiple times over the last ten years, I seem to glean something new every time I read this book. I would like to share one quote in particular that resonated with me this time:

“If we have learned even the most elemental truth of discipleship, we must know hat we are called to be servants of our Lord and to obey His word.” (Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism)

In short, complete obedience to God’s will is the controlling principle to discipleship.

Photo credit: Rebecca Krebs (Creative Commons)

Throughout my life, God will bring people into my life to pour into–friends, neighbors, coworkers. But, as a husband and father, my family is my first calling. My wife and children need me to intentionally lead them in their walks in passionately pursuing Christ as their personal Savior.

How can I expect to lead and disciple them if my heart isn’t completely yielded to God? This small example challenged and reminded me of a two things:

1. The leadership I provide to my family stems from my relationship with Christ. Jesus showed His followers all they needed to know by simply being with them.  I’ll find everything I need to know in God’s presence.
2. Obedience to God’s will is more than blind trust. It is active and intentional. It is a daily surrender and acknowledges “Not my will by yours.”

Be encouraged today as you lead your wife, your family, and those God has placed in your life. Look to Jesus’ example and press on.

::

Who do you need to lead today?

29 Comments

  • Loren Pinilis

    August 29, 2011

    I think the key for me was realizing that anything and everything I did that was positive only happened as a result of Christ working through me and in me. So it makes sense that that relationship had to be the most important thing in the world to me.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 29, 2011

      absolutely. thanks for sharing loren – i feel like i’m learning that every day…

      Reply
  • chris vonada

    August 29, 2011

    Dustin,

    great post, I do need Jesus as the example for sure and believe I also need to continually strive to be in a growing relationship with him. My circle, small group. or “tribe” is also vital.

    btw, every time I see your twitter picture it cracks me up !!

    Chris

    Reply
  • arny

    August 29, 2011

    Yes! Well put Dustin.

    I struggle with this very thing. I want to lead but how can i lead them if my heart is not right?…

    It’s when i’m driving home and I seek His face that things between us are at peace…

    then I can lead.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 29, 2011

      as always, thanks for sharing arny. i know the feeling…

      Reply
  • Moe

    August 29, 2011

    You said something very important. “Jesus showed his disciples all they needed to know by simply being with them” That’s where is at. This single “Jesus loves you” sentence evangelism is not effective. You have to do life with people. But as you stated, we have to first do life with him. So deeeeeeep!

    As to who do I need to lead. My family. My wife has a “simpler” faith than me. I like to go deep and sometimes her perspective is so much different than mine. Then, I often find that when I am challenged by some of life’s curveballs, her “simple” faith has led her through those moments much better than me and my “deep” perspective. I make faith too hard sometimes. A lesson in truth. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 29, 2011

      Do life. Yes, absolutely! That’s what Jesus did… why not do it ourselves?

      Thanks for sharing, Moe!

      Reply
  • Michael

    August 29, 2011

    So good. Hitting people over the head with bibles doens’t work. But doing life with them does. It gives them an example.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 29, 2011

      yup, agreed! and how many times do we walk by people “like that” and feel ashamed? (i know i feel that way at times)

      Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    August 29, 2011

    This is great, Dustin. I think about this every time I’m around children and when I’m teaching music lessons. My life and how I respond says so much more than the things I say.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 29, 2011

      lead by example. love it. thanks cindy!

      Reply
  • Ally Garner

    August 29, 2011

    Oh goodness, I love that quote. I’m sorry to say I’ve yet to read Coleman’s Master Plan Of Evangelism. My husband Jeff has thankfully, and has urged me to read it as well. I need to get about doing that. Such a great post! In case you gentlemen haven’t heard this from us Ladies lately, thank you for living lives joyfully following Christ and leading your wives by example – even when it’s so hard to do so.

    I need to go tell my husband that too, pronto. I don’t tell him that enough. Thanks Dustin!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      Yeah and that’s the convicting part – I don’t do it all the time. I need to.

      You should check out Master Plan…. It’s short and sweet. Full of great truths.

      Reply
  • Rob Shepherd

    August 29, 2011

    I need to lead my family, and church. Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  • Alex Humphrey

    August 29, 2011

    I am encouraged!

    God is really revealing this to me more and more every day. I am so grateful for his continual grace in my life. I haven’t been the best husband (can you believe I don’t have it figured out after 5 months? :P) but I am continuing to trust Him and to love her.

    And as you said, there is nothing blind about it: God is real, His words are true, and my trust and commitment to Him will never return void.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      Absolutely! Has it been 5 months already? That is nuts! Congrats, Alex! :)

      Reply
  • Tom

    August 29, 2011

    Awesome, active and intentional actions of obedience to His will.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      cool… thanks for sharing, tom!

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    August 29, 2011

    Myself first. Then my wife and kids. And then the people that seek me out for guidance/advice. And then to others. We can be leading people continually–even if it just a little bit.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      …even just a little bit. Love that, Matt. Thanks!

      Reply
  • jbussell

    August 30, 2011

    My wife and I were just talking about something similar the other day. I have felt, on a few occasions, led to help in our H.S. ministry. This past spring I had a discussion with the H.S. pastor about teach this fall. I decided, however, at this point in time I need to be spending more time pouring into my own son and spending time leading him. Great post!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      Thanks for sharing Jeremy. That is challenging – b/c as as a father, I don’t want to ever come to te point where I hear my children say, “Daddy lead other people, but never lead me.”

      Reply
  • Luther Wesley

    August 30, 2011

    We are all to disciple those around us and it should, for those of us with families, start at home.

    We cannot disciple others if 1. We are are not in the faith ourselves or 2. we are ignorant.

    We must be willing to be discipled if we wish to disciple others

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 30, 2011

      yes! thanks for the comment, luther — spot on.

      Reply
  • rachelle

    August 31, 2011

    This is so good!

    I was just talking to a good friend of mine about this topic. She’s from Iran, and identifies herself as Muslim. She asks really good questions about having a relationship with God and it’s exciting to have these conversations with her. I think I should read this book to further some of our conversations.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      August 31, 2011

      oh definitely! i wholeheartedly recommend (and it’s fairly short)!

      Reply

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