• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Who is your one (bis)?

The word, ‘bis’, in French is a way of adding an additional thought.  It’s an ‘encore’ if you will.

Last week, I wrote a post about the ‘slogan’ shared by my brother’s pastor in regards to Ephesians 1:1-14:  “Then he shared this slogan via a question: “Who is your one?”  Who is the person God has put on your heart?  Are you close to anyone who is far from God?  Are you in touch with anyone who is wondering how they fit into God’s mission in the world?

I wanted to cdiscipleship-potential-160526ome back again to that question.  As I thought more about that slogan, I remembered a good friend from seminary (a New Zealander) who used to ask me a similar question every time we met for coffee.  We would sit down at Friendly’s (an ancient version of Starbucks) over a cup of American ‘coffee’ and he would start out by asking: who is your man?  Or later on, the question morphed to: how is it going with your man?

In his language, he was asking about the person that I was reaching out to or discipling.  He was pushing me to get past just talking about people to actually moving towards people and investing in them.

His weekly reminder was the help, the accountability moment I needed.  His weekly question was the reminder that someone was thinking about and praying for me in this regard.  That weekly reminder over a cup of ‘coffee’ was one of the main ways God kept my eyes focused on the His larger mission.

Last week, I asked: “Who is your one?”  Maybe I could state that another way: who are you reminding regularly about God’s mission by asking: Who is your man?  Who is your woman?  Who is the one in whom you are investing?

4 Responses

  1. This is an interesting topic. It comes across to me as a western view of discipleship (one individual at a time). Discipleship takes place in community. Charles Davis brings this out in his book “Making Disciples Across Cultures”, starting with his definition: “A disciple is one who moves closer to Jesus as a learner, follower and lover, together with other disciples.” Note the context of disciples’ growth is “together with” other members of the community of disciples.

    Having spent 20 years resident, and the remaining years an intermittent participant in a communal society in Papua, I have witnessed the power of community in formation of individual people as disciples of Jesus.

    I think we have lost sight of that in the west, where we have one individual preaching at us whatever he has learned mixed with his personal opinions and emphases. If we have discipleship classes, we have one individual teaching the many whatever little he or she knows (or doesn’t know). And we have individual people challenged to do one-on-one discipling–limited by our own individual experience of Christ and knowledge of the Scriptures. I will not say categorically that all this is wrong; but we in the West need to learn to value the role of community and the worth of having many teachers and mentors in our ministry and disciple-making.

    • John, I would certainly not disagree with you. It was not my intent to convey a ‘western’ view of discipleship. However, I would say that discipleship is both a community and an individual work. To drive a ‘wedge’ between these two elements might make us lose sight of the varied and manifold ways that God works in our lives.

  2. David, I think what I said implies this. I certainly meant that! I wrote it for the sake of my last comment from “but” onwards, because I have heard Western people denigrate the role of community in spiritual formation and discipleship

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