youth worker, youth ministry, disciple

Not Everything Is Discipleship

By Doug Franklin January 26, 2012

Youth workers do lots of cool activities; retreats, camps, small groups, community service, overnights, and the list could go on and on. Activities are good for building relationships and growing trust, but just because a student comes to a pool party doesn’t mean we had a discipleship moment. Not everything we do or even everything we teach is discipleship. Everything in youth ministry is not discipleship. To be honest, I think curriculum marketers were the first ones to try and push this at us, wanting to lump all curriculum into the always-popular discipleship basket.  But here are some of the discipleship must-haves:
First of all, the student needs to have a desire to be a disciple. You can’t disciple a student who doesn’t want it, so just because a student heard your best sermon, or went to small group, doesn’t mean you discipled them.

There also needs to be a relationship.  For a student to be a disciple, there has to be a relationship that goes beyond attendance. Every disciple needs a rabbi.  This relationship is key and even more true with an immature student.  Someone needs to walk the road with them and show them the way to Jesus.

Discipleship happens outside of the classroom.  Jesus didn’t teach his disciples in a classroom, instead He chose a path, a hillside, and a sea.  Discipleship happens in a process of living out your faith.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More