So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. -Colossians 1:28
Somewhere along the line, we have separated evangelism from discipleship. We preach the gospel, but we don’t disciple. We don’t get people on their feet spiritually. But the two go together.
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus, one of the most notorious nonbelievers ever, was so unexpected that a lot of people didn’t think it was true. So God spoke to a Christian named Ananias and told him to visit Saul. After some initial resistance, Ananias obeyed and found Saul (who later changed his name to Paul), prayed for him, and took the time to encourage him. Then God brought another man into Paul’s life, and his name was Barnabas. He introduced Paul to the apostles and vouched for his conversion.
A lot of people want to be an apostle Paul, but would someone please be an Ananias or a Barnabas—a person who works behind the scenes? You may not be the next Billy Graham, but you may the best person who helps to nurture the next Billy Graham.
You can show that person what a Christian family, a Christian man, or a Christian woman looks like. You can befriend that individual who has no friends and bring him or her into your group. You don’t know what God can do in the life of that person.
Discipling someone is not just talking to that person about Jesus; it is also being a friend. And that is what a lot of people need: a friend. That is what I needed as a brand-new believer. Thankfully, someone named Mona saw that I came to Christ and very persistently said, “You’re going to church with me.” I was resistant at first. But she won me over and ended up helping me get grounded in the faith. That is what discipling is.