Guest Post: Take a (Spiritual) Hike
My friend Gregg Farah is a pastor, writer, and all around great guy. He has a passion for discipleship, and helping followers of Christ more fully pursue the calling on their lives. Today is a big day for Gregg as he is launching his next book project. You really need to check it out, and buy a copy (or three) for everyone you know.
If you want to climb Mount Everest, professional trekking services costs anywhere between $40,000-$110,000. That’s quite an investment…but I hear the view is amazing. These companies claim to take care of everything, guaranteeing each step up and down the world’s tallest mountain will be monitored.
Spiritual guides should offer the same service, minus the astronomical fee. Here are five commitments to make with those you serve:
- Invest—Agreeing to disciple someone or lead a small group is a big deal. Be willing to invest in academically and relationally. You don’t need to know everything, but be sure to spend more time in preparation than reviewing notes at a stop light. And people want to know you care about them more than simply getting through material.
- Listen—Listen far more than you speak. As a general rule, your group or those you’re discipling should speak 75% of the time, leaving only 25% for you. It might seem out of balance, but you’ll gain a greater understanding of your group if you listen. And your group will grow by verbalizing its faith far more than simply listening to you.
- Pray—Listening to and encouraging a participant is critical. However, nothing is as valuable as praying for his or her journey. Make it a priority to pray for the person you are serving.
- Direct—The abundance of materials available for spiritual growth can be overwhelming. It’s not possible to know about every item available, but develop a Top 10 (or 5) resource list to help those you serve study and grow on their own.
- Improve—Leaders are learners, so commit to growing spiritually and as a disciple-maker. It’s easy to rely on old lessons and illustrations. And while it’s not necessary–or wise–to reinvent the wheel, do strive to learn all you can about what you’re teaching and how you’re leading.
No Everest trekking service can guarantee success, but it can commit to prepare you to have the best opportunity to not only climb the mountain but survive the experience. We can do the same as spiritual guides. Help someone take a next step.