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My criteria for discipling others

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At the Barnes house last night, we had a wonderful dinner with some of our World Race coaches, talking about raising up a generation of radical disciples. This is our mission–we want to disciple these Racers like Jesus taught and released his disciples. A big part of this is using our coaches to…
By Seth Barnes

At the Barnes house last night, we had a wonderful dinner with some of our World Race coaches, talking about raising up a generation of radical disciples. This is our mission–we want to disciple these Racers like Jesus taught and released his disciples. A big part of this is using our coaches to act as spiritual parents and guides for the Racers along the journey.

covenant 1The World Race is 11 months of intensive discipling and coaching. It’s the year of a lifetime, showing you the world and helping you to become the person God designed you to be along the way. It is also the beginning of a three-year track that models what Christ did with the Twelve during his time on earth. It’s selective; only one in nine applicants get into the program.

Over the past three years (we began in 2006) of scrutinizing thousands of applications and asking the question, “What makes one of these applicants successful?” we’ve come up with three foundational criteria. I think they’re universal for all would-be disciples. Feel free to use them in your own ministry:

1. Faiththey commit to grow: Candidates have to see themselves not only as they are, but as they could be, committing themselves to grow. They have to be willing to see themselves and the Kingdom thru God’s eyes. If they truly want to grow, they’ll trust their coach, prizing her feedback and applying her counsel, never wasting her time.

2. Hopethey commit to a good attitude: Candidates have to have a good hope-filled attitude. If they have allowed themselves to be infected by a critical or negative spirit, not only will it keep them from growing as a disciple, but they will likely infect those around them. If you’ve ever lived with someone who is a wet blanket, you know how contagious their attitude can be.

3. Love – they commit to give: Candidates have to give more than they take. If they’ve become self-focused or acquired dysfunctional habits, they can be destabilizing to a team. Many people can’t even see how entrenched and disruptive these habits have become in their lives. They need further healing before we can expose them to a team.

Of course these are the three traits Paul cites in 1 Corinthians 13 – interesting that our three years of experience should align so well with Scripture. All of us who consider ourselves followers of Jesus would do well to ask how our lives and actions stack up to these three criteria.

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