In our small Bible study group we have been moving our way through 1st and 2nd Timothy. Last night we gathered together to discuss 2 Timothy chapter 2, which deals primarily with disciplship. It begins with the following verses:
vs. 1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
vs. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others.
This led to the the following questions: what is discipleship, and who should be discipling whom. We basically skipped over the first question and went straight for the second. The discipleship of new believers and young believers were discussed (both of which I believe are very important)but after that the conversation began to trail off. I left Bible study feeling like we had missed something very important but was having trouble sorting out what that missing element was. I’m not sure I am much closer to forming any kind of useful answer, but so far this is what I have come up with,…
The charge of a disciple is spelled out in verse 2, to take the teachings of truth and to commit them to faithful men who will be able to teach others. To me that command seems like a foundational building block that effects all elements of the church. While I can think of many examples of one-on-one discipleship, what as a church body, can we be doing to promote discipleship? Is that a fair question to ask?
In the discussion of who should be discipling whom, the idea of peers discipling peers was only briefly mentioned and was to a certain degree dismissed as unnecessary. I’m not so sure I would so lightly passed over peer discipleship. Also, as in Timothy’s case, younger people discipling older people. Is that appropriate in our day and age?
Another element of discipleship that I found very interesting is the description Paul gives of the characteristics a disciple should possess.
vs. 24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient , in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps repentance, so that they may know truth.
So many of these qualities are not ones that come easily to our human nature (at least not mine) but they are clearly essential for the shaping of disciples.
These are just a few of my rambling thoughts on the subject, I would love to hear some of yours.