Discipleship Is Who We Are
By Dawn Kelley
Dawn Kelley, former Director of Community Development for Next Level Worship International, shares about the importance of leader-to-leader discipleship in this video and blog article.
Our goad at NLW is to help develop the awesome leaders God brings our way. It is a humble privilege to walk alongside of church leaders all over the world, wherever they may be.
So, let’s talk about discipleship. If you have read Pure Praise, you know what I mean when I say our daily worship should be inward, it should be upward, and it should be outward. Discipleship is a part of that outward worship where we are intentionally building relationships in the Kingdom of God for the Kingdom of God.
Now this is one of my favorite topics; not because I have been good at it, but because I haven’t. I have realized the importance of relationships in getting out of pits that we often find ourselves in. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT) puts it this way, “Two people are better off than one for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help, but someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
So, when we think about God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, they are in fellowship with each other. But that is a relationship that is complete in and of itself. We, as humans, are not complete in and of ourselves. So God is very specific in his word saying that we not only need relationship with him, we need relationship with others in the body of Christ. And that looks like a lot of different ways. It looks like having brothers and sisters in Christ to do life together. It also means having spiritual mothers and fathers who can pour into us who have gone before us and can help us navigate the way. And it also means having spiritual children who we can help bring along, those who are coming along behind us and we can invest in them.
If you’re like me and you are a little bit more goal oriented, a little bit more task oriented, you can laugh at me, but I actually have on my to do list: make friends, reach out to this person! And those who are a little bit more natural and they seem to [build relationships] effortlessly, I’m a little jealous of you all. But wherever you find yourself on that scale, we can’t make excuses. Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, discipleship is really more than a popularity contest. We can be in a room surrounded by people and be absolutely alone.
Vulnerability in Intentional Discipleship
So, the relationships that we want to look for are people who can speak hard truths into our lives, in love, in humility. They can rebuke us in love to restore us, not to shame us or punish us, but to restore us. And we also, we need to be open and honest and vulnerable enough to receive that information. So it’s about being mindful, about looking for these types of individuals in our churches and in our communities.
I will say this. If you are in a leadership position in church, finding trustworthy people, in the church it can be a little tricky because those people in your church have relationships with other people in your church. We want to be wise about that. It is definitely wise to find an accountability partner outside of your church circle. That is a noble and worthy pursuit, especially if you’re in leadership.
How NLW Can Help You
NLW International can come alongside of you in this process. Many of you may know about the coaching network with Dwayne Moore. It is a mentoring process for ministry leaders. We also have a sponsorship program where we will pair two worship leaders together to intentionally build relationship with each other, to go through a Bible study together, encourage and pray for each other.
If you want to know more about these programs, please reach out to us. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk with you and help you know what that might look like for your unique situation.
You Are Not All Alone in Ministry
But I want you to know this. You are not alone. This is why we exist. We definitely cannot and should not do ministry alone. So please reach out to us.
Let me end with Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT), “Now all glory to God who is able through his mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”