Discipleship is a life in progress, a lifelong work. It is not as simple as picking up a curriculum, working through all the levels of the book and then declaring that you are done ... you have reached the pinnacle of “discipledom.” No, it is lifelong. It is the work of being a Christ follower. So, in our work as BSM staff, Joyce Ashcraft, TXBSM Associate State Director, says we must engage in three things. 

1. Being a Disciple
Do you have a regular, intentional, and consistent plan for your own development as a disciple that includes accountability? Are you being what you are leading your students to be? This may be our hardest challenge. We get so caught up in the tasks of the dailyness of life that we just don’t devote the time and intent to our own growth as a disciple. Energy devoted to the study and memorization of God’s Word, prayer, serving others, and other spiritual disciplines must always be a part of our lives as disciples and leaders. 

2. Leading Disciples
It seems that the “semester train” leaves the station and all you can do is hang on. You have individual (or small group) time with your leaders. There are tasks related to the activities and groups they lead in addition to their academic work as students that cry for attention. Regardless of the growth tract chosen for your time together, it sometimes slides lower in the list of things that have to be done. Holding students accountable to their commitment to their own growth is an important part of their growth as disciples. You are an important link in their accountability chain. I know one BSM Director who decided to help a student learn to be more consistent and follow through on commitments and meetings. So, they covenanted together that when either of them cancelled a commitment, they must make a $5 donation to Go Now Missions. It is helping both the student and the leader. Discipleship with student leaders must have content as in one of the spiritual growth tracts (below) but must also reflect an individual plan for growth in the areas where growth is needed. Accountability and grace must go hand in hand to help student disciples grow.

3. Teaching Students to Lead Disciples
Your student leaders also play a vital role in the development of student disciples on your campus, helping them to be intentional in their relationships with small group members and friends. The BSM staff cannot touch every student that needs to grow as a disciple. However, your student leaders can have a major impact on the development of student disciples. Students must learn how to hold each other accountable, extend grace when needed, and lead conversations and time with fellow believers to intentional dialog that leads to growth. Discussion of this phase of responsibility must
also be part of your individual time with students. 

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Other Discipleship Helps
  1. Disciplism by Alan Hirsch
  2. Spiritual Growth Tracts adapted from Roger Matkin's Nurturing Spiritual Growth (used with permission)
  3. The Fifth Great Awakening and the Future of America by Dr. James Denison
  4. Transforming Discipleship Discussion Questions

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