4 Behaviors of Disciple--#2 A Disciple Talks


May 24, 2011

Coaching for discipleship is our backdrop for the blog this week.  4 distinct behaviors run through nearly every approach to spiritual growth.  Just to say it clearly, these aren't the only behaviors that stimulate discipleship growth, but these 4 are definitely coachable.  The first behavior is that a disciple learns.

Behavior #2:  A disciple talks about their faith.  No matter where you look in the Scriptures, people are talking.  Christianity is first and foremost, a talking faith.  Jesus teaches.  Peter tells the story of the children of Israel in the very first sermon.  The author of Hebrews is talking about the heroes of faith.  The Psalms direct the redeemed of the Lord to talk about it!  There's even a whole sub-category of Bibles that highlight Jesus' words in red!  It's all about the talking. 

One of the most under-served challenges for today's Jesus follower is learning to talk about your faith in your own way.  Far too many people of faith resort to Christianese and other cliches to describe our faith.   Christianese has it's roots in good intentions...cliches become familiar for a reason.  They're easy to understand, and familiar to the ears.  But what do they actually mean?

Cliches and familiar sayings have assumptions as their foundation.  We assume that everyone shares our experience and understands what we're trying to say.  On some level, it works, but on a deeper level cliches and Christianese sell the beauty, creativity and power of the faithful journey far short of the potential God has in mind.  Each of us is wired uniquely by God (see that pesky Ephesians 4 passage about how Jesus himself set us up) for a special contribution.  Each of us is different, and that points to each of us having our own way of expressing ourselves.    How can one learn to talk naturally about our faithful journey?  Practice.  

Small conversational steps about your personal journey are a great place to start.  Use the words that come naturally to mind when you think about living faithfully.  Practice with your spouse or a close friend.  The more you do it, the more easily talking about your faith will come.

Want to coach someone to talk about their faith?  Powerful questions open the door.  Here are some suggestions:

  • When you think of Jesus, what words come to mind?
  • How are you changed because of your relationship with him?
  • What do you know you need to work on to mature spiritually?
  • Who can you practice with?
  • How can you measure your progress?  
  • What Christianese sayings do you need to commit to avoiding?


Comments (1) - Post a Comment
BTW...this also covers prayer. As we learn to talk about our faith, we also learn to use language that helps us pour our heart to God. Prayer is a chance to speak freely to the Creator of the Universe. This is also a chance to use language/thoughts/ideas that match who we are and who God made us to be.

Learning to converse naturally is a part of growing a healthy prayer life. Talking about our faith naturally is something that should carry over from our every day life to our prayer life.
Jonathan Reitz at 4:23pm EDT - May 26, 2011

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