Helping someone in his or her walk with the Lord can be challenging but also rewarding. In this article, Pastor Joe Bonifacio encourages us to continue reaching out to people as he opens up about the pains and gains of discipleship.
The Pains in 4Es
Discipleship is not a walk in the park. There are pains associated with every part of the process, but these shouldn’t stop us from helping someone grow in faith and be empowered to lead. Here are some of the challenges as we engage, establish, equip, and empower someone.
ENGAGE: Whenever we try to engage someone with the gospel, the reality of being rejected is always there. The person we are trying to engage can always reject us or walk away from us, and that can hurt us or make us feel insecure.
ESTABLISH: Seeing believers struggle with pain or wrestle with biblical foundations can be painful. When a new believer’s passion wanes down or encounters trials, that person can get lost and won’t know what to do next. We know that this is normal, but watching someone struggle with sin is hard.
EQUIP: When we teach the people we are leading to be ready in doing the work of the ministry, a lot of times we have to help them see things from a biblical perspective. And that can be hard since they have their own mindset on how things are and should be.
EMPOWER: Empowering someone can be challenging and painful because we can’t always be there to help and guide them. A lot of times, the people we are empowering to lead doubt themselves and focus on the things they don’t know more than the things they are capable of doing.
The Rewards in Discipleship
While it is hard and can sometimes make us doubt ourselves or feel insecure, every opportunity is an opportunity to engage someone. And it’s never about us. It’s about God and how He is working in our lives.
When the first person I was leading walked away from God, I felt bad, rejected, and insecure. I felt I was a failure. But God dealt with my heart and made me realize that what I did was not for me but for Him.
Sometimes, the people we journey with walk away from us, but that doesn’t mean God would stop working in their lives. The time we spent and the seeds we planted were never put to waste because God could always use other people to continue the work that He started in that person’s life. That, in itself, is rewarding.
God made me realize that my goal is to see the people I’m leading have a deeper relationship with Him. Even if years from now I see them in a different group or attending a different location, as long as they are walking and growing with God, I will be grateful.
Discipleship is about seeing the other person flourish in his walk with God. Not being hurt or rejected is never the goal. The pains shouldn’t stop us from reaching out and sharing the good and amazing things that God is doing in our lives.
Pastor Joseph Bonifacio is the director of Every Nation Campus in the Philippines and also serves as a campus director and lead pastor in Victory Katipunan. He is happily married to Carla “Rica” Peralejo-Bonifacio, and they have two sons, Philip and Manu. Together, they are committed to reaching, training, and teaching the next generation.
Beyond the Series is a set of interviews with Victory pastors on topics related to our sermon series.
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