Podcast 015: “Marriage and Disciplemaking” (part 1) with Terry and Leah Green

“We decided from the very beginning that love is a choice. We love telling people that 54 years ago we chose the one we love; and, we’ve spent the last 54 years learning to love the one we chose… and that’s day-to-day.” – Leah Green

 


“We decided from the very beginning that love is a choice. We love telling people that 54 years ago we chose the one we love; and, we’ve spent the last 54 years learning to love the one we chose… and that’s day-to-day,” said Leah Green to us when we asked: “Is there a ‘secret’?!”

The Apprentice Approach Podcast, Episode 015 is part one in our newest series on marriage, family, and disciplemaking!

We had the privilege of talking with Terry and Leah Green who have been happily married for 54 years, are currently in full-time ministry, and hold all kinds of wisdom from their life-experiences in being small business owners, parents, great-grandparents, and of course, following Christ.

They’ve led Marriage GetAway, a marriage retreat at the Glen Eyrie Conference Center for 14 of the retreat’s 25 years and have been on staff with The Navigators since 1995 …basically, they’re the most humble experts you’ll ever meet!

Join our conversation with Terry and Leah, talking about some really practical ways they’ve found to maintain perspective, continue making disciplemakers, decide who/when to say “yes” (or “no”) to, and (the best part) do it all alongside the love of your life!

 

P.S. If the idea of ripple-effect disciplemaking is a topic you want to learn more about – or, if you want more resources on the topic of marriage, parenting, and being a disciplemaker – head over to our website www.theapprenticeapproach.org And, if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

 

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Podcast 014: “The Impact of One” with Dianne Derby

“I don’t think there’s a greater way to show God’s love than to show what He’s done and changed in you – living that example to others.” – Dianne Derby

 


Today we have the privilege of talking with Dianne Derby. Dianne is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, the evening co-anchor for KKTV 11 News, holds two Masters degrees, is a wife, mom, and plays a significant part of our Colorado Springs community. But there’s one more thing to add to that list.

In this podcast, episode 014, we talk with Dianne about how one interview led to reading the Bible every Tuesday for five years with author, speaker, leader and Pearl Harbor survivor Jim Downing (our friend, who we affectionately call “Navigator #6”).

We covered topics like: how did that initial interview lead to the relationship it became, what did Jim Downing model to you in the context of The Apprentice Approach, what did it look like for Jim to walk alongside you during those years and in some significant life-moments, how is life different, and finally, what were some of your biggest take-away’s sitting with Jim?

Join us as we continue on our journey talking about spiritual generations with Dianne as she shares with us about her experience being discipled by Jim Downing.

P.S. If the idea of ripple-effect disciplemaking is a topic you want to learn more about or, if you want to hear from Jim Downing himself, head over to our Podcast and Blog page or go to www.theapprenticeapproach.org. Jim was our very first podcast guest – actually, the first three episodes – sharing everything from the definition of discipleship to its importance and being accountable for your influence to family and discipleship and even humor!

And, if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

 

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Podcast 013: “The Measurable Difference of Disciplemaking” with Katlyn Kincaid, Abby Anderson, & Carmelle McCluggage

“Disciplemaking” isn’t coaching; it isn’t just being a teacher or leader. There are distinguishable, measurable differences: disciplemakers make disciples of Jesus who make more disciples of Jesus to the third and fourth generation. Multigenerational disciplemakers don’t just strive to “teach,” but out of our joy, we long for transference and we labor toward maturity. Intentionally helping others become not like us, but like Jesus.


Jack: Welcome to The Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 013, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today we’re going to focus on that last part: “master the art of disciplemaking.” You know, “disciplemaking” isn’t coaching; it isn’t just being a teacher or leader. There are distinguishable, measurable differences: disciplemakers make disciples of Jesus who make more disciples of Jesus to the third and fourth generation.

Multidimensional, multigenerational disciplemakers don’t just strive to “teach,” but out of our joy, we long for transference and we labor toward maturity, intentionally helping others become not like us, but like Jesus.

Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, put it this way: “Activity is no substitute for production. Production is no substitute for reproduction.”

You know, we believe maturity in disciplemaking is actually measurable. Our friend Jim Downing would always use the example of botany to explain this – a fruit tree is mature when it produces fruit. Every believer is called to both God’s first command in Genesis 1:27-28: “…be fruitful and multiply…” and Jesus’ last command in Matthew 28:19-20 to “…go and make disciples…”. You can hear more on what it is to disciple toward maturity in our very first podcast “The Definition of Discipleship” with Jim Downing.

Okay! So now we’ve laid some groundwork on the definition and the measurability of disciplemaking, but HOW do we do it? What does it look like?

Let’s jump into today’s episode to see what generational disciplemaking actually looks like… in real life!

 

Jack: We have a special time planned for you today. We have three young women in the studio and we’re gonna talk about generational disciplemaking. We’ve got some exciting things and some guests that we’re going to have introduce themselves to you this morning. So, Katlyn, would you like to start for us?

Katlyn: Yes, hello, I am so happy to be here! I’m really excited about this. My name is, yes, Katlyn, and I was first introduced to the idea of discipleship as a child and I remember very clearly a counselor I had when I was a camper at Eagle Lake, who lived in Colorado Springs, in the off season I asked if she could meet with me and I was, I think, only in sixth grade. But, she would come pick me up from my house and then she would take me to a coffee shop or to someplace fun and we would just spend a little time reading the Bible together and then praying together. And, I just remember so clearly one time her talking about how God had written our names on the palm of His hand; and, I remember her writing my name in the palm of her hand. And, that just really inspired me because she cared so much about me and I just remember thinking, “I can do this too, I can do this with other people.” And one of those people eventually was Abby, and so I’m going to throw this over to her so she can introduce herself to you.

Abby: Well, hi guys! So excited to be here with you. My name is Abby and I was first introduced to discipleship actually at Eagle Lake Camps as well. When I was a camper there, I was discipled by my counselor and I just remember thinking, “Man! She’s so cool and she wants to spend time with me?” Um, so we just had such a sweet friendship and she really began to show me, not just what the Bible said, but also what God was doing in her life as well. And, that just felt so personal and I remember thinking, “Oh wow, God is using her even in her not being perfect and still figuring things out and that is – really was – a huge catalyst in me coming to know the Lord. And so, um one of the things I think that she taught me was that discipleship isn’t optional. Um, and that really has propelled the rest of my walk with Jesus. And so, I’ve actually had the privilege of discipling a girl named Carmelle, she is awesome, um and with us today. So, Carmelle do you want to introduce yourself?

Carmelle: Yes, hi! Um, my name is Carmelle, my story’s pretty similar to the other two ladies here. But, so I was first introduced to discipleship up at Eagle Lake Camp. Um yeah, I was counseled by a counselor that I had and she was really passionate and really devoted to my understanding of the Gospel and how that was playing into my life at home, which yeah, is something that I won’t forget. Um, and then coming back down off the mountain and kind of just going through regular life, I was approached by Abby who really just took time every week to, um, go through the Bible with me and pray with me.

Jack: That’s great! That’s great! Well, three generations of, uh, disciplemakers. I’m excited to be able to talk with you! You each represent a different generation, and I want to start with you Katlyn. Tell me why you think it’s important to be very intentional up front in your time together and how that reflected in your time with Abby.

Katlyn: Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, Abby – I knew Abby when she was actually a camper. I was a counselor when she was a camper at Eagle Lake. But that was not when we first, um, started our discipleship relationship. It was actually a couple years later, when my husband was running the Crew Program and Abby was his Crew Program Coach. So, she was one of the Leadership and so it was my role to meet with her throughout the summer. And that was, first of all, just the sweetest time; but, I remember it also being really crazy because I had an almost one-year old and I was also pregnant and so, um, and then I was meeting with Abby and several other Crew Counselors as well. And so, time was very limited – just in my own personal life and then also in meeting with these girls – and I was… I just also remember feeling tired a lot of times. And so, I didn’t have the capacity to be super strategic and come up with a plan of: this is where Abby needs to grow and this is how I’m going to help her grow and this is what we’re going to do together. But, I just remember, in my own time in being discipled by other women throughout the years, how important and valuable time in the Word and prayer was together; and so, um, and even just in my own walk with Jesus, I just knew that I needed time in the Word and prayer every day to really be abiding in Him well. And so, that was my hope and goal for my time with Abby – was just to really equip her with that and to come alongside her and serve her and encourage her in that and just help her to be filled spiritually; so that, as she was pouring into others, she was not relying on herself, but she was relying on the Spirit to, um, help her as she was meeting with others. And so, we were just very intentional in our time to just talk about life – just what was going on, how she was doing, how I was doing, um and then we just really made sure that we had some time in the Word and that we had time in prayer together. And that was what was always the most encouraging to us – was just that: sharing of life, time in the Word, time in prayer. And so, it wasn’t this big, fancy, strategic thing, I just didn’t have the emotional or just the regular time for that; but that was what was most important to me – was intentionally being in the time – time in the Word, time in prayer, time sharing how we were doing.

Jack: That’s really good. And, I think you had that modeled well from your mom. For those of you who don’t know, Katlyn is our oldest daughter; and all those number of years, Katlyn saw counselors come up and Shaunda get time with her in the midst of, uh, watching the kids and in the midst of “real life.” So, Abby how does that, uh, what does that look like for you with Carmelle and others and what you saw with Katlyn?

Abby: Yeah, that’s a great question, Jack. Um, so actually, how Carmelle and I actually got to know each other was really fun! Um, I had been a part of Eagle Lake’s Crew Program, which Katlyn talked about previously, for a couple years and Carmelle was one of our campers and I remember thinking she was really funny, and hilarious, um, and I was kinda slowly getting to know her. We’d spent a couple summers at camp together at that point. And – I think it was your second summer – I had just moved out to Colorado to actually start leading the Crew Program, and previously, I had led Bible Studies and discipled girls – really all through college, and um, even at the end of high school – but when I moved out to Colorado, I didn’t really know anyone. And so, I remember praying, “Lord you have given me such a clear ministry during the summer, but what does disciplemaking look like year-round, when camp isn’t running and I’m not like highly invested in all these people’s lives? What does discipleship look like?” And so, um, I remember there was one day I was sitting in the dining hall and Carmelle and a couple other campers – Tori and Kiera – we were all sitting around the table and I was just asking them, “What is it like going home from camp? You have this really intense experience of people discipling you, you have really strong community, what does it look like going home?” And they just talked about, “You know, I wish there were other people back at home who were this committed to walking with Jesus and wanted to read the Bible, like “in-depth” study the Bible together; and, we just haven’t found those people quite in our schools or in our communities,” and they just talked about this longing for this really Biblical community who was committed to studying the Bible, walking with Jesus, and uh, practicing discipleship. And I remembered thinking, like, “Well, I could, I could do that – like I could be a part of that.” And, it was one of these moments where I wouldn’t say, like, I felt this crazy calling, you know; but, here was a need that God had equipped me to meet. And so, I just asked them, “Hey, if we started a Bible study would you come to it?” Because, there’s nothing more terrifying, even, you know I think I was like 22 at the time, I’m like, “I don’t want to start a Bible Study and no one show up.” So, I had to confirm that people would come! But, I asked them, like, “If we started a Bible Study and continued to in-depth study the Bible like we’re doing at camp, would you come?” And all three of them were like, “Yes! Absolutely.” And so, there was a handful of girls who were in Colorado Springs who wanted, again, to just keep walking with Jesus and growing in their faith and were really ready for kind of the “next push” – the next step. Um, and so my roommate and I, Allison, decided: “Let’s start a Bible Study and see what the Lord does!” And we started a Bible Study with six high school girls at that point, and um during that season we had really, Allison and I, had really prayed, like you know six girls is a lot of girls and so, “What Lord – who do you want us to really give our time to one-on-one?” And so, we were all reading the Bible together every week; but um, we were just praying: Who do you want us to give our time to one-on-one? And, I just felt like the Lord kept bringing Carmelle to my mind. Carmelle is just so, like, caring and empathetic and she is a quiet leader who has a lot of wisdom and I just remember already seeing that when she was in high school and so, um, I just asked her. I think we had maybe been meeting – I don’t know, maybe three, four months – I just asked her if Tuesday mornings I could come pick her up before high school and read the Bible with her. And so, every Tuesday I would roll up to her house, pick her up, we would get breakfast and just read the Bible and pray together before I dropped her off at school. So, that’s kinda how our discipling relationship began.

Jack: That’s great, Abby! One of the things that, as I listened, you talked about being nervous. What did that look… flesh that out for us a little bit?

Abby: Yeah, I always joke: high schoolers are the most intimidating people I’ve ever met [laughter]! Um so, I was just nervous because: What if I didn’t have something to say? What if they didn’t want to be in a Bible Study with me? What if I, like I don’t know, didn’t have enough wisdom to give them? I know that sounds silly, but I think there’s just always insecurities whenever you are really stepping out in faith and yet, um again, there was a need and God had equipped me to meet it, so that was really my prompting to step out in faith.

Carmelle: Yeah, I felt the same way before starting to co-lead the Bible Study that we’re currently in. Yeah, I just remember feeling very afraid, thinking about all the, uh, “dis-qualifiers” and trying to grapple with the fact that I am not disqualified from sharing the Gospel; it’s something that is pertinent and yeah, not optional.

Jack: That’s great Carmelle! Well, one of the things that I wanted to get with Katlyn is: What are some of the things that you learned in your – as you were being discipled – and how did those things get passed on generationally to others? And, um, flesh that our for us, Katlyn.

Katlyn: Yeah, yeah that’s great. I met with a girl in college, her name was Katie, um, for all through my college career. And, Katie was so passionate about prayer. And, I remember doing several different studies on prayer, um, and just taking a lot of time when we were together to just be praying. And not always praying in the same way – really practicing different ways to pray. She especially loved praying through Psalms; and, I remember really loving that and learning that from her. And so, I think, even kind of unconsciously, I just really embraced that and remembered – or just embraced the fact that – when I’m meeting with someone, we need to be praying together. And so, I know that in my discipleship relationships, I’ve always been very intentional to make prayer a big part of what we’re doing in our time together. I think for me, partly because it’s so easy to say, “Okay, what I can be praying for you this week?” And then, – I know I’m not great at following up in that in my prayer life – making sure I’m intentionally praying for that person outside of our time together. It’s something I want to be intentional in and am working towards, but it’s just a personal feeling of mine. But, when I can make sure that when we’re together, we’re praying for those needs together, it’s just so sweet and there’s just something, man, I could go on about this for forever! But, it really breaks down walls; it really builds vulnerability; and, it really builds the relationship to be praying together; and, it just invites the Spirit in these beautiful, amazing ways! And so, that’s something that I was passionate about. And actually, but I didn’t necessarily realize I was making it such a priority until I was talking with Abby about this podcast… and I’m gonna let her tell her side of the story.

Abby: Yeah, you know it’s funny, I think we always lean into the places that we feel more comfortable and I would say reading the Word, uh, and studying the Word is definitely more my comfort zone and prayer is something that really stretches me. Uh, you know, right now Carmelle and I actually lead a high school Bible Study together, so now we’re co-leaders and our high school girls came to us maybe three or four months ago and they were just like, “I – we’re not getting like – our quiet time’s feeling kind of dull, we don’t know what to do.” And, I was just remembering how much time Katlyn had spent praying with me and teaching me how to pray. And, I feel like our girls really know how to study the Bible and it’s so sweet that that’s such a strong skill of theirs, but I feel like prayer is a weakness, especially because that’s my weakness, and sometimes you pass down your own weaknesses to the women you disciple. And so, I just invited them over one Saturday, uh, and it felt out of my comfort zone too, but we just practiced listening prayer for two hours. And so, for like one month every Saturday they would come over, um, we would sit on my couch and I would just open us up in prayer and say, “Lord we’re listening, we’re here, is there anything you want to say to these girls?” Um, and to be honest, I was nervous because I was like, “What if the Holy Spirit doesn’t say anything to them?” Um, and you know, it was that trusting God with the people you disciple. Um, and as we sat there, it was like pretty quiet and awkward for the first 30-40 minutes, but I kid you not, by the second time we had done listening prayer all three girls who were over were in tears because the Holy Spirit spoke to them and how sweet that it wasn’t me teaching them about Jesus but I was getting to witness the Holy Spirit, um, meet them in their own place and teach them more about who He was.

Jack: Yeah, you know Paul says, “And the things you’ve heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust of reliable men [or women] who would be qualified to teach others also.” Well, Carmelle how did that impact you as you began to see Abby do that with you?

Carmelle: Yeah, um, that’s one of the things I really admire about Abby – is like she digs into those uncomfortable places – and like, really addresses, um, the needs of our group just super well. So, she is good at picking out, like um, I don’t know, Bible Study isn’t a place where we’re supposed to feel 100% comfortable, um, she’s gonna, like, ask those questions that are really going to challenge us, um, and that’s what’s gonna ultimately lead to our growth and spiritual maturity.

Katlyn: Yeah and I think, I hope you guys are hearing this, um, something I’m hearing, as we’re all talking, is just how God uniquely created us to be the person He wanted us to be and so we’re not all discipling the same. And so, the way Katie discipled me was not the way that I discipled Abby; because, I’m not Katie. But, she shared with me what she was passionate about and she shared with me how to be passionate about the Word and prayer. And, I was able to pass on, not specifically how to do that, but my passion for the Word and my passion for prayer to Abby. And, Abby was not me; but, she was able to take that passion for the Word and passion for prayer – or learning that passion for prayer – and make sure that she was equipping Carmelle and the others. And, then Carmelle is also doing this now with other girls in a way that Abby did not do it. Carmelle’s really making it her own, um, but we can pass down that passion for the Word and passion for prayer.

Abby: Well I think, you know, there’s nothing cooler than seeing God raise up someone you’ve discipled to reach a person or a place that you could never go. And, I remember as we started our Bible Study, when Carmelle and I began leading, um, Carmelle just has a strong cool factor – like, it’s just a well-known fact.

Katlyn: It’s so true.

Abby: And, I remember, like, there were – especially one of the girls – just like, looked up to Carmelle, totally connected with Carmelle and I felt like I didn’t know where to go with this relationship with this girl; and yet, God had given Carmelle this, um – this girl was just drawn to Carmelle – and whatever Carmelle said, she totally respected. And so, I just think God is so sweet to raise up disciplers that people you’ve discipled to disciple other people that you couldn’t connect with, you couldn’t reach to. And, I think that’s where we need to make sure that we are winning people to Christ, not winning people to ourselves. And I think, that’s something that can easily happen in discipleship is: am I making these girls rely on me for their spiritual growth or am I coming alongside them, teaching them to rely on Christ so that He can equip them to go disciple others.

Jack: Abby, as you’ve allowed Carmelle to lead out – you’ve taught her how to – you’ve modeled and taught her how to lead in Bible Study. Bring us up to speed on how, of course she’s doing a great job, but how has it been to let her do that? To let her fly by herself?

Abby: Yeah well, I think my proudest, like, discipling moment ever was, uh, so the six girls we started with in our Bible Study were all graduating high school and half of them were leaving Colorado and the other three were staying in Colorado Springs. And so, me and the girl I was leading with previously, Alison, invited them over to my apartment. We were just hanging out with them chatting and we just asked them all, “Hey, what do you think next year should look like? We’re available, we want to, uh invest in you and continue to help you grow in your relationship with Christ; uh, but what do you think that should look like?” And I remember Carmelle like was so timid and laughing and didn’t want to say what she was gonna say, but she just looked at us and was like, “I think we’re ready to disciple other people but I’m just so nervous.” And that was really what launched this next generation. And so, it’s been so cool because Carmelle and Kiera and myself are now all co-leading this Bible Study; and, it’s been so sweet to be able to step back and know that if I’m out of town for a week, like, they can lead and they can help these girls come to know Christ more. And so, a couple weeks ago, I was, um, out on a trip and it was over Valentine’s Day and so they were like, “Hey, can we actually do something, like, we’re thinking about doing something different for our Bible Study,” and they ended up going through 1st John. And, we have one girl in our Bible Study who is known for asking the hardest questions known to man – and I love her for it – but, if you ever want to be stumped, do Bible Study with her. And so, Carmelle and Kiera led this Bible Study; and of course, this girl is asking a million hard questions. And what they did? Carmelle and Kiera left that Bible Study, dug into the Word, answered these questions, and then connected with her and followed up on all the questions that she had asked. And I think, um you know, it’s been so cool to, again, trust God that He’s gonna use these girls in ways that He, um, maybe I wouldn’t even be equipped to do as much. And so, I think it’s been good to see: it’s gonna look different; and yet, the Holy Spirit is moving through Carmelle and Kiera to disciple the next generation and I’ve gotta trust Him in that.

Jack: Well Carmelle, how did you feel about that, in the midst of it? In terms of being nervous and, uh, looking forward to leading in that? Talk to us about that.

Carmelle: Yeah, well I should first say that we have, like, the most gracious group of girls ever, so really, yeah, I struck gold there. Um, but yeah, as I’ve been going through it, um, I think I’ve really just been digging into practical ways of teaching and instructing so that they can have something to take away from every time we meet. Kind of trying to demystify, like, what it is to seek God in our daily lives; because, I feel like a lot of times that can be fuzzy. Um yeah, the nervousness is still there a lot of the times; but yeah, it’s okay to have those moments of silence and moments of awkwardness.

Jack: Uh-huh, yeah. I think that’s really true. Well Carmelle, why don’t you talk to us about your ministry now and what God has laid on your heart as it relates to what you’ve seen Abby do with you?

Carmelle: Yeah so, um like, we’ve mentioned Abby, Kiera, and I now co-lead a Bible Study of high school girls who have done the Crew program at Eagle Lake Camps. Um, that’s been really beautiful. Um, I was a counselor this past summer at Eagle Lake as well and following up with my campers while I’ve been home has played a huge part into my life, um, not at camp. Yeah.

Jack: That’s good. That’s good.

Carmelle: Um, I’d say some huge things that I have learned from being discipled by Abby has been encouragement and then also being, like, very challenged.

Abby: [laughs] That’s because I would challenge Carmelle a lot; so, I’m glad you continued that on!

Carmelle: No but it’s great because, like, not taking those, like, watered down answers to questions really, like being, pursuing me in like – I don’t know…

Abby: Well, I think Carmelle, like, she was always – she has such a wisdom about her – but, I think often times, especially when discipling high schoolers, you can get very surface-level answers. But, it takes that really digging to understand what do they truly think, what do they truly believe? And, that’s been one of the cool things – like, leading with Carmelle – is that, um yeah, again there’s some relationships where I don’t always have the relational trust to really push into things; and yet, some of those girls trust Carmelle even more, and she’s so good when people maybe give a surface level answer that we can kinda tell that might not be what they think or what they believe, she’s been so good to follow-up and say like, “Are you sure that’s what you’re feeling? Are you sure that’s what you’re thinking?” Um because, if we don’t talk about reality like it is, if we don’t know what people are believing about God, how can you point them to Christ? And, she’s so good at digging into that.

Jack: How did you see Katlyn do that with you, Abby?

Abby: Oh, Katlyn. Um, she doesn’t take surface level answers – ever. Um she, what I love about Katlyn is that she’s soft and yet she’s strong in the same moment. And so, um, there were often times where, again when she was discipling me, I was, um, in leadership, it was like the first leadership role I had ever had! I felt so unqualified and I just wanted to be really good at what I was doing. And so, I think often times I can struggle with, like, how people perceive me. And so, at first it would be really easy to say like, “Yeah, I’m doing great. Everything’s great, everything’s awesome.” And yet, she has such discernment that she would always push into that and ask about very specific things. Um, I think that is always a really good tool – is when you can tell that there’s more – um, asking about specific situations often unearths what may actually be going on under the surface, and she was so good at that.

Katlyn: Thank you. I’m glad you appreciated that, now looking back, maybe not so much at the time? Um, yeah and I definitely had Suz, there was an amazing, amazing human named Suz and she did that for me. And, I think it’s just cool to see how you have that passed on. And, I think what’s so cool about discipleship, I even think about, um you know, going back to Katie and Suz and just when they were discipling me, it wasn’t even always about me, it was also about: we’re doing this for you and the person you’re discipling. So, it’s not just you, but who else? Like, who’s your person that you’re going to be discipling? And, I think that’s what I love so much in seeing Abby, um, and meeting with her: it’s always been – even in our conversations – it’s not just about Abby; she talks about the girls she’s discipling and we talk about – we talked when we were meeting – about the girls she’s discipling during the summer and how what we’re doing can equip them and how she can better equip them. And that was a lot of our conversation, which is just so sweet that it’s not just about me, it’s not just about Abby; but, it’s about someone else too. Not that we’re talking badly, but just how can we equip them? How can we support them? How can we build them to be building the next person? And so, it’s so sweet to see Abby’s relationship with Carmelle. And even though I don’t disciple Carmelle, I don’t know her super well, I care about her and care about her spiritual growth. And, it’s so cool to see Abby not care just for Carmelle but also care so deeply about the girls Carmelle is meeting with and discipling and who they will eventually be discipling. And I think that’s what we love, what I love so much about spiritual generations is it’s not about me and there’s so many places where I hear all the time, “It’s just about me; just take care of yourself; do what’s best for you.” And generational discipleship is: “No, it’s not about you; it’s about the person who’s beyond you – two or three or four steps – how are you going to carry that on?”

Jack: Yeah, that is so appropriate because the ripple does far exceed the initial splash. Well, thank you ladies for your time this morning; we appreciate being together with you and we look forward to another podcast down the road.

Everyone: Thanks, thank you, thanks Jack

 

Jack: What a joy it was to sit down with these three dynamic ladies! We’ve seen and heard today what it looks like to be a disciple who makes disciplemakers. Even though each of these relationships is unique to the people involved, you can still see the thread… the “jingle of an unbroken chain” if you will… of what it looks like when men and women give themselves to the things of God, pushing past the initial awkwardness, showing up, and sharing focused time: connecting, reading God’s Word, and praying together.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped! If the idea of discipling toward maturity is a topic you’re enjoying learning more about, we’ve got a number of other great episodes that expand on a lot of what we talked about today! One of those is our very first episode with the late Jim Downing,  “The Definition of Discipleship”.

For more on The Apprentice Approach, including the full transcript of this podcast, resources, our blog, and to sign up for emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org, and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

And let me encourage you to share this with a friend!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

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Podcast 012: The “How’s” of Reaching and Discipling Millennials and Gen Z with Abby Anderson

Learn how to develop relationships (through consistent commitment) that can bear the weight of truth and the hard parts of life; how to invite these generations into deeper development and growth; and, how to win people to Christ, not ourselves… and so much more in this second episode focused on Millennials and Gen Z.


Jack: Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 012, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

You know, we’ve had a lot of questions about reaching Millennials – and as the largest living adult generation, they’re the greatest driving force in many areas of our society… including disciplemaking. So, we’re excited to focus this month on Millennials, Gen Z, and what you need to know to be a disciplemaker who makes disciplemakers to the third and fourth generations!

Today, we have the privilege of talking with Abby Anderson – who’s living The Apprentice Approach lifestyle with these generations! Abby has been a part of the Eagle Lake family here with The Navigators for many years and is currently the Sustained Giving Supervisor. Abby was also the Crew Director at our Overnight property at Eagle Lake Camps for multiple summers, where she got to pour into the lives of Crew counselors as well as our Crew campers. She has a real heart for those that are in high school and college, and desires to walk alongside them as they learn how to pursue the Lord wholeheartedly.

We’re in the second episode of this two-part series about reaching and discipling Millennials and the generation after that, Gen Z. If you haven’t listened to our last episode (Episode 11), I’d highly encourage you to do that as Abby and I talked about foundational truths about both Gen Z and Millennials you need to know – showing us how we can model merging the sacred and secular, how we, as disciplemakers, get to share how the Gospel changes our relationship with God, and how the Holy Spirit transforms our identity. But today, we’re moving forward from the foundational truths to the “how’s.” Abby shares some keys to how we can reach Millennials and Gen Z.

In this episode, we talk about how to develop relationships (through consistent commitment) that can bear the weight of truth and the hard parts of life; how to invite these generations into deeper development and growth; and, how to win people to Christ, not ourselves… and so much more!

It is a pleasure to have Abby with us today. Let’s dive in!

Jack: Well, now that we know a little bit about Millennials and Gen Z, Abby, what are some keys to jumping in and practically discipling these young men and women?

Abby: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think, you know, just to give you a little bit of background, really the two first times I was discipled: the first time I didn’t even know someone was discipling me; it was kinda secret discipleship. One of my teachers, she is a former Navigator, she asked me to be her teacher’s aid and just started asking me what I believed about Jesus, and I wasn’t really walking with the Lord at that time and so through that space, she really began to cultivate some questions that I had about Jesus. And so, from her, I just learned: you can do it anywhere. We can literally disciple anyone, anywhere, so we’ve gotta be able to broaden our scope of what that looks like. And then I think the second thing is I had the privilege of being discipled by one of my camp counselors right when I began walking with Jesus, and she just basically taught me it wasn’t optional; I didn’t know, because I was a new believer, I had no idea that there are some believers – people walking with Jesus – who do not disciple. I just thought that was what you had to do immediately, so I had just come to know the Lord; I went home (I’m sixteen at the time) and I just found an eighth-grade girl to read the Bible with. And I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that when I was meeting with my counselor Daria, she would read the Bible with me, so I guess that’s what Christians do. And so, I love that the Holy Spirit just used her in my life to propel me into this world of discipleship that has completely changed my entire life. And so, the first thing I just want to say is: guys, it’s not optional. We don’t just get to decide if we feel like discipling or not, this is part of walking with Jesus. And second, we may not feel equipped enough, we may not feel like we know what we’re doing, but I love that in my ignorance the Holy Spirit showed up and gave me words to say as I discipled this thirteen-year old girl. So, it’s not optional.

Jack: How about inviting someone into that kind of relationship, what does that look like for you?

Abby: Yeah, I think it’s always a little nerve-racking; no matter how old you are, you want to be liked. It doesn’t change. And I really thought it would; but now I am 26, and I still want people to like me. But, I think we have to remember something innate in humans is that there’s something so nice about being wanted. And so, whenever I go to someone and say, “I want to spend time with you;” “I want to get to know you;” “I want to invest in you,” I think there’s no one who’s offended by that. So, we get to give people the gift of wanting to be wanted. Um, I think the second thing, I have the privilege of discipling high schoolers and I kid you not, they’re the most intimidating people I have ever met, even being 10 years older than some of them, they still intimidate me! But, I have to remind myself that if you’re older, they already think you’re cool, so there are many times when I’ll be picking up one of my high school girls and thinking like, “Oh, does she think I’m so lame?” And I’ll have to say to myself in my head, “They think you’re cool because you’re older, so play off of that.” Um, I think we have to be okay to just be confident walking up to someone and asking if we can meet with them and begin reading the Bible with them and teaching them to walk with Jesus. I think also, the last thing that has just been so crucial in my discipleship relationships is having high expectations. Remember that it is important to set clear expectations for them up front so that they understand what you are expecting in this relationship and what you want it to look like. Something that is so sweet about this generation is if you set high expectations, they rise to them. And it was funny, even preparing for this podcast, I asked some of my high school girls like, “Hey what’s important for people to know about discipling your generation?” And the first thing they said was: “Set high expectations, we’ll rise to them.”

Jack: Hmm, that’s interesting. You know, Jesus called the 12 to be with him, he didn’t, uh, ask for volunteers, he was very specific. You know, Abby, as you think about the generations going forward, why is it important to have these high expectations?

Abby: I think a lot of time our generation and Gen Z feels written off. I can’t tell you how many times there has been jokes about, “Oh Millennials!” and I think we want to show that we have something to bring to the table. And so, when you look at someone and you can say like, “I see this in you;” “I see that you can do this;” “Will you rise to this expectation?” They feel honored and valued in that. And so, one of the things, um, in leading a high school Bible Study, I tell them exactly what I’m expecting of them. If they don’t have time to be involved and be committed and show up every week, then this probably isn’t the right place… and that’s okay. And we give them the freedom to say “no.” But, when they commit to being in our Bible Study, to grow relationships, you can only go as deep as the shallowest person [Jack: Yeah] and so we’re really clear about what the time commitment looks like, what we are going to be doing, and then we give them the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to that.

Jack: So, this is really important for any generation.

Abby: Yep.

Jack: Well, what does that look like for these Gen Z’s, why is it especially important for them?

Abby: I think what I love about Gen Z, uh, give them the real deal. They want to know truth, they want to know what you expect. They don’t want to play around, and so if you can say, “This is what I see in you;” “this is what I think of you;” “this is what I expect of you,” they feel really honored in that. Um, even when you say hard things; I think so often we’re afraid of offending them – because this is a generation that at times can be a little touchy and can get offended pretty easily – but, what I’ve found is when you honor their dignity enough to tell them the truth, they feel respected and they trust you.

Jack: So, there’s a sense of authenticity with you as you try to communicate that truth that really does come across [Abby: Yes!]. You know that’s really good ‘cause that reminds me of a conversation that we’ve had with Mark Heffentrager on “Leading the Next (and Now) Generation of Disciplers” and he talked about the importance of “tribe” in Millennials. Can you tell us a little more about the impact when a discipler, when someone really shows up, what does that really convey to these young men and women?

Abby: Yeah, I think they want to be valued and important, and so when you say, “I’m going to be present in your life;” “I’m not going to go away;” “I’m going to be consistent no matter what,” what it shows them is that you’re trustworthy. What I’ve found in almost all of my discipling relationships is that it takes about a year for me to really feel like, “Wow, they trust me.” Um, and that’s a long time, if we’re being honest. You know, it’s been interesting now walking through a couple generations of high school girls that I’ve discipled, every time I start over I’m like, “Am I doing something wrong?” “Why is this weird sometimes?” “Am I bad at this now?” “Like, did I lose how to disciple people?” And yet it takes about a year for them to really, really trust you and so what that means is a year of showing up to their tennis matches, a year of showing up to their basketball games, a year of picking them up after school, a year of showing that I’m not going anywhere no matter what you do, what you say, who you are, because I love you and I’m committed to you. And, when you can show that you’re going to be consistent regardless of circumstances, all the sudden the walls begin to fall and you can really begin to see who they are, and they trust you with their heart.

Jack: So, developing the weight, developing that relationship that will bear the weight of the truth that will eventually come when you guys talk about the hard things, that’s good!

Abby: Yeah, definitely.

Jack: You know, you mention it being hard and awkward, and I think that’s a topic that we all can really learn from, some keys to that. What does that look like for you?

Abby: Well, I think if I would probably get on a rooftop and shout anything about discipleship, one of the first things I would say is, “Don’t give up when it’s weird! Don’t give up when it’s weird.” Because if you give up when it’s weird, you’ll never get to the goodness of it. And so, I mean, I have been discipling people for ten years and, I will tell you, year after year, it’s weird sometimes. What that has looked like, a lot of times when I’m building relationships with people there’s a couple things that I have seen trends in. So, the first is, when you start a new discipling relationship, you’re gonna start with the shallow answers; so, it’s hard to feel like you’re actually getting down to what they actually believe about Jesus, because a lot of times they maybe know the “right” things to say, but that’s not what they actually believe all the time. And so, it feels like you’re bumping up against this knowledge – this “head” knowledge – and not able to dig deeper into the heart knowledge. And so, when that happens, don’t give up! Keep showing up, because they will drop the walls and begin to ask you questions; they will drop the walls and let you push back on things.Um, I think the second thing that’s kind of hard about it is every person is different, and I’ve seen this with my girls. There are some girls if I push pretty hard, saying like, “Are you sure, like, that was the right thing to do? Are you sure that you’re really trusting God with that?” They are so perfectionistic, they would be mortified and absolutely filled with shame. And so, there are girls that that would be a horrible approach to and yet, there are some other girls where I can look them in the eye and say like, “You’re sinning in this way; so, what are you gonna do about it?” And, that’s exactly the challenge they need, and they feel so cared for, loved, and known by – my bluntness is calling things what they are. And so, part of the first year is just getting to know who you’re ministering to, because a right step in one relationship could be a total wrong step in another, and so you need to know what lies Satan has been whispering over them for years – what things they struggle with – what they’re so fearful of. Because, as you can learn those things, you can be wise in not reinforcing things that are not true, but instead, speaking truth over them.

Jack: So Abby, as you attempt to not use a “one size fits all” perspective in the midst of this, what are some of the things that you do to prepare and to listen in to the Holy Spirit to determine what it is you know one of your girls might be struggling with?

Abby: Yeah, I think um, first off, I love that you brought up the Holy Spirit, because I think that is the only way we can really have insight and wisdom to their hearts. Uh, one of the things I try to do, especially on my drive over to pick up any of my girls, I just pray like, “Lord, would you show me, you know, what’s going on in their heart? What’s holding them back from following you? Would you give me the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, wisdom outside of anything that man can know?” But, I think another really important thing is, I actually try to pray that in front of them too, because I think it’s important to not win people to me, but win people to Christ. And so, building dependence on Christ, not myself, and I think it would be really easy, as the Holy Spirit gives me insight and wisdom into what they’re struggling with, for them to think, “Wow! Abby’s so insightful! I need to call her for everything.” But really, it’s the Holy Spirit who’s doing that; and so, I’m intentional, like when I’m meeting with them, to pray like, “Holy Spirit would you just give me wisdom to know how I can love Carmelle, serve Carmelle, and teach Carmelle more about you.” So that they know it’s the Holy Spirit inside of me who’s empowering me to do that, so that’s one of, you know, it’s a small distinction and yet it is absolutely will change the way you disciple.Um, I think the second thing, um, is that I, uh gosh, high schoolers are so funny because they want you know things and they don’t in the same moment. And so, if you ever sense like a hesitation before they answer a question, just call it. You know, there’ll be times where I’ll ask, “How was your week?” And they’ll pause and then they’ll be like, “Yeah, I mean it was really good.” Well, that tells you right there that there’s more to that answer and so I think we have to not be afraid of what’s going to come out. I know there probably even more recently in some of my relationships, sometimes I get afraid, like what are you going to say? What if I don’t have the right answer? And so, I don’t press in, and yet, again, we have the Holy Spirit in us, so we need to be able to trust and press into those hesitations and say, “Hey, you sounded like you hesitated; is there more to that? Would you tell me?” Like, “Do you know I’m trustworthy and I won’t say anything that, like, I won’t repeat this to other people, if that’s something you don’t want to happen?” So, um, I think again, just affirming you’re a safe place. And then lastly, um, we’ve gotta be a really good listener. And in discipleship, I think often we can we can go into a mode where we’re trying to teach other people and we’re not necessarily listening well. And so, one of the – there’s like probably three things I do to try to listen well.

The first is, someone told me once that, “If you want to understand someone’s theology, listen to them pray,” and, it is one of the most true statements I’ve ever heard. So, I will, a lot of times, I think it would be really easy in a Bible Study to let me lead, to let me pray, to let me facilitate like our spiritual conversations; but, if I want to know where my girls are at, I probably have to stop talking a lot more. And so, I’ll ask, I just call them out, at this point like they are comfortable enough that they call me out right back, but I’ll just call them out and say, “Hey, Sydney, you’re gonna pray for us.” And she does, and it’s awesome. But, as she prays and open us up in our time, I listen to: what is she highlighting about Jesus? What is she thanking Him for? Is she thanking Him for His grace? Is she thanking Him for His holiness? Is she only praying for – is she only asking for things? Um, that’s a really good, uh, if you hear girls only asking God for things, um, that’s a great launching point into saying like, “Hey, I noticed that when you pray, uh, you’re really asking God for, to bless your day and bless everything that you do; are you wanting to be about His Kingdom, or are you wanting to be about your kingdom?” Um, so listen to what they pray for and follow-up with them and ask them about it, and don’t be afraid– if they trust you, they’re not gonna be offended, they’re gonna feel known. So, the first is listen to them pray. Second, listen to the patterns, um, that they talk about. One thing we do before Bible Study is I always ask, “Happy/Crappy.” So, I say, “What’s a happy moment of your day? What was a crappy moment of your day?” Um, you’ll see trends really, really quickly. So, what is, uh, what are the things of disappointment that are ruling their life? Um, is it bad grades? Um, I know there is – I’ve discipled a couple girls who are just so overwhelmed by perfectionism, and so they’ll say over and over like, “I just have so much homework, I can’t do anything right; blah blah blah blah blah.” Well then, we get to talk about, like, what it means to rest in Christ’s grace. Um, but I have other girls who really struggle with bitterness, and so they’ll talk about like, “Well, and then this person did this to me and it was just the worst.” Are they painting themselves in the light of the victim, because then we get to talk about our own sin and what it looks like to walk through forgiveness and extend grace. So, listen to what are the trends that they say, um, this sounds super creepy and weird, but don’t be afraid to take notes on the people you’re discipling. Because you’re not gonna remember everything they say, so when I make observations, especially when I first began discipling people, in the back of my notebook I would write their names and write down things that are important to them. You know, so I would say like, “Shay said this that this was really important to her, I need to remember this. Um, this verse really stuck out to her for some reason. I need to look into this verse more and ask her why that was important.” So, I’ll take notes on what they say and what is important to them [Jack: Sure!] so I can see trends in what God’s doing. And then the last thing is: ask questions. I think we feel so much pressure in discipleship because we think we need to have the right answer, and yet we are, like, we have the opportunity to bring them to Jesus and show them who Jesus is. And so, I just ask a lot of questions in my discipling relationships, and I rarely give answers. So, if someone has a really, um, one of the, you know someone has a “crappy” that kinda sticks out to me, or a “happy” that sticks out to me, I’ll say, “Why was that so important to you? What about that moment was so defining for your week? Would you tell us more about that?” Or, if someone makes, um, you know, tells me a situation that’s hard, but then they try to brush it off – um which high schoolers do all the time – they’ll say like, “Well, it wasn’t that big of a deal though.” I’ll stop and say, “What did that feel like? Could you describe that to me? How did that change what you believe about Jesus?” And I think, as you ask those questions, they’ll answer. They’ll surprise you with their authenticity and their honesty. But, you have to be able to go there with them and not react or be afraid by what they say. Because, if they can tell you their doubts, their fears, and you can respond in love and acceptance, then you all of a sudden have the space and the trust to be able to speak into those places.

Jack: Boy, that gets to their core identity too. That’s good. Well, Abby, is it, uh, is it really just about meeting with them? Or what is it, uh – what is it your long-term vision that you’re thinking about?

Abby: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think my vision and my prayer has been that the next generation would know and love Jesus for the rest of their life. And I think that last part is so key: for the rest of their life. Because we see a lot of people, um, a lot of my generation (and I anticipate Gen Z) leaving the Church after Graduation. Um, when it’s not their parents’ faith anymore, it sure doesn’t often transition into being their personal faith. And so, I think one of the things that has been really helpful is I, um, there’s like a really easy diagram, um, that I’ve used in the past that you can easily pinpoint kind of where people are in their spiritual growth. And so, um, really there’s four quadrants: one where they have never heard of Jesus and don’t know the Gospel, the second quadrant would be they’ve heard the Gospel but they’re not sure if they believe it, the third would be they believe the Gospel but they don’t know how to practice it and continue to grow with Christ, and the fourth quadrant would be they know the Gospel, they know how to grow with Christ, and they can reproduce other disciples. And so, what I’ve been intentional to do is just because all my girls have heard the Gospel, just because all of them are in Bible Study, does not mean that they are all in the same quadrant. And so, I need to be intentional to truly understand where they are in their walk with Jesus, because that’s going to change how I approach, um, my discipling relationships with them. And so, I have girls who very much understand the Gospel, and yet they’re still deciding like, “Is Jesus worth it? I know it’s gonna cost.” I have girls who understand the Gospel and, you know they’re now learning, “Okay, what does it look like to walk with Jesus every day? How do I continue to grow in my, um, my spiritual disciplines and, um, how to read the Word by myself.” And then I also have girls who like, they understand the Gospel, they get what it looks like to walk with Jesus – even if I were to step back from discipling them – they, I mean they’re running and they are ready to make disciples and so I think my goal is always, I always want to have a vision for all of my girls being in the fourth quadrant. I always want them to steadfastly be walking with Jesus for the rest of their lives and making disciples in that process. But, I think we also need to acknowledge that not every girl I’m discipling is there; and so, my prayer is always – they’re moving into the next quadrant, they’re moving into a deeper, more steadfast, faithful relationship with Jesus that will extend to the rest of their life and then they will be able to continue to make disciples. And so, um, I think it’s been cool to, uh, I there’s probably like two or three different girls, um, in the past that I’ve really spent a lot of intentional time with, and some of them, um, is because they are walking through that question of: “Is Jesus worth it? Do I actually want to follow Him?” Um, but then some of them, like, they’re ready to share their faith. They’re ready to go out and make disciples. And so, in our conversations, we’re talking about like, “Okay, who’s a friend we can pray for that doesn’t know Jesus that we can share the Gospel with?” And so, I think we need to have a vision for: how do we help these girls move to that fourth quadrant, where they can begin making disciples in their schools – sometimes in their families, sometimes they come from unbelieving backgrounds – um, at college, with younger girls, and that really is the vision of how do we begin to ask the question: what does it look like to make disciples right where you’re at? Because like we said, you can do it with anyone, anywhere, um, and that’s what I want to talk to my girls about.

Jack: That’s so good. Well, it really does reflect John 17 – Jesus’s prayer and His modeling to his men – and I think it’s exciting to see you do that as well, Abby, with your girls. So, thank you again for your time and we’ll wrap it up at this point.

Jack: We’ve learned today some of the keys to how to disciple Millennials and Gen Z – moving from understanding foundational truths of their generations to how to actually reach them where they are individually, in their unique context and climate. Abby shared the importance of setting high expectations, being authentic and consistently committed to the everyday lives of those we’re discipling. But most importantly, Abby shared some keys to how she listens to the Holy Spirit as she prepares to meet with Millennials and Gen Z, leaning into His wisdom and how that leads to winning people to Christ, not ourselves.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode, learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped! If Millennials and Gen Z is a topic you’re enjoying learning more about, we’ve got two other podcast episodes you don’t want to miss! Podcast 008: “Leading the Next (and Now) Generation of Disciplers with Mark Heffentrager (Director of Eagle Lake Camps) and Podcast 011: “Foundational Truths You Need to Know About Gen Z and Millennials (from a “we” perspective)” with Abby Anderson (which is part one in this series) are great resources on this topic!

For more on The Apprentice Approach, including the full transcript of this podcast, resources, our blog, and to sign up for emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org , and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

And let me encourage you to share this with a friend!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

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Go to the Resources Page –>

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Podcast 011 “Foundational Truths You Need to Know About Gen Z and Millennials (from a “we” perspective)”

POST SCRIPT: We experienced technical difficulties during the recording of this podcast. Thanks for your patience when things are noticeably re-recorded and overlaid; and, thanks for understanding that this whole disciplemaking thing really is about doing “real life” with people… even when mics mess up!

Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 011, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today, we have the privilege of talking with Abby Anderson! Abby has been a part of the Eagle Lake family here with The Navigators for many years and is currently the Sustained Giving Supervisor. Abby was also the Crew Director at our Overnight property at Eagle Lake for multiple summers, where she got to pour into the lives of Crew counselors as well as our Crew campers. She has a real heart for those that are in high school and college, and desires to walk alongside them as they learn how to pursue the Lord wholeheartedly.

We’ve had a lot of questions about reaching Millennials and the generation after that, Gen Z. So, we’re excited to talk to Abby – who’s living The Apprentice Approach out every day with these two generations! Abby is a Millennial herself, who has been discipled and has experienced discipling other Millennials, as well as many in Generation Z and she offers foundational truths about Millennials and Gen Z and also shares some great insight for how to truly engage these generations for Jesus!

It is a pleasure to have Abby with us today for part one of this two-part series. Let’s dive in!

Jack: So, Abby, as a Millennial, how do we respond to Gen Z? How do we respond to the generation that follows us? You’re a Millennial, you’ve learned some things, why don’t you talk to us today about that?

Abby: Well, Jack, I am so excited to talk about this topic, because there is probably nothing that gets me more excited than discipling the next generation. And while Millennials and Gen Z may get a bad rap, I totally understand, let me tell you, they are hungry to know Jesus! And, we have such an incredible opportunity to really raise up the next generation of Christ-followers. So, there’s a couple things, um I’ve been, obviously, a Millennial my whole life and also discipling Gen Z’ers for the past, really, six years um intentionally. And, there’s just been a few things that I’ve learned and observed from my time with them – so excited to share with you.

Jack: Yeah, yeah that’s great! Jump right in!

Abby:  Yeah, well I think this is something people talk about a lot, but really one of the things that I’ve noticed is um Millennials and especially Gen Z, they genuinely don’t know what God’s Word says. Um, I think they um and even myself really, we grew up in a generation where mega Church and pastors were very present. We had a lot of access to Biblical teaching through the boom of the internet, through social media, um even through bloggers. And so, as a generation, we know what people say about God’s Word, but rarely has anyone taught us to read God’s Word.

Jack: Well that’s interesting Abby, then how do we help Gen Z’s understand?

Abby: Yeah, that’s a great question! I think from being a Millennial and spending time with Gen Z, first off, understand that this is where they’re coming from and don’t berate them for it. I think a lot of times we do get a bad rep and yet a lot of times the reason this is the way it is, is because no one ever took the time to teach us. And so, first off, don’t hate on their generation, but meet them where they’re at. One of the things that I’m so intentional with in my discipleship is to read God’s Word with my girls. A lot of them, again, they’re going to church with their families or their friends or the people that are investing in them, but they’re not necessarily seeing these mentors get up and spend time in God’s Word. They’re not seeing these mentors and how they read God’s Word. And so, one of the things that I love doing is just bringing a girl alongside me, bringing them with me when I’m studying the Bible. So, I’ve been leading a Bible Study with high school girls for the past four years and so whenever I prepare for Bible Study, a lot of times I’ll text the group and say, “Hey, I’m gonna go to a coffee shop and work on my Bible Study, does anyone want to join me?” And so, how can we model this? How can we model spending time in God’s Word and bring them along with us as we ourselves are reading God’s Word?

Jack: Yeah, that’s good. So, Abby, how is it that you not only teach the importance of the Word, but then get into the obedience aspect, obeying it, in light of all the things that they have heard? So, the social media aspects, all those pieces. How do you do that practically?

Abby: Yeah, one of my favorite things to do, there was a girl, Carmelle, I was discipling. Who we would, it was when she was in high school, I would wake up, go pick her up in the morning before school and we would just do our quiet times together at a coffeeshop before I dropped her off. And so, I would ask her, “Hey, Carmelle, what do you want to read today? Like what, is there any passages, you know, you feel the Lord’s putting on your heart? What do we want to go through today?” And, I would have her pick the passage. We would spend time reading the Word on our own; and then, we would talk about observations – things that stuck out to us – what do we see about God’s character in this? And then, at the end of our time, and I think this is so important and we cannot miss this, I would ask her what’s one thing you want to obey out of this Scripture today? And we would pray for an opportunity to obey that piece of Scripture.And, it was so cool to see how God would give us opportunities – specific to what we had read that morning – to either choose obedience or disobedience. And so, that was again one thing of trying to help her understand this isn’t just you know a spiritual or sacred time where we’re reading God’s Word and then we go on with the rest of our life; but, how does God’s Word impact every moment of our day, and how can we walk in obedience – you know, when we’re in math class or when we’re eating dinner with our family?

Jack: Yeah, how do you do that without stifling their excitement for walking with Christ?

Abby: That is a great question! We are a generation that loves excitement, I will tell you that. If you talk to any Millennial or Gen Z’er, I’m sure what you’ll hear is, “I wanna do big things for God!” And you know, I love their heart behind that. And, I think we’ve got to be careful not to write them off in that but really hear that they have a heart that wants to serve God and step out in faith. But, here’s a generation that grew up applauded. We are a generation that there was no winners or losers, everyone got a participation award, but even more than that, we are a generation where social media first took root. And so, everything we did people “liked” it, people commented on it, people mentioned us in it. And so, we’re used to having fanfare at all times.

Jack: So, if you didn’t get the 86 Likes, are you disappointed?

Abby: Oh totally! I think again, what we have to remember, is how do we meet this generation in that place? And so, one of the things that I’m sure, if you’ve spent any time walking with Jesus, you realize that sometimes walking with Jesus is a long obedience. There’s nothing that – people aren’t applauding you for it. No one’s, like, throwing a party because you did hard things. A lot of times, God asks us to be obedient in really quiet places, where people aren’t watching, and that’s really hard for our generation, to be honest with you. And so, as disciplers, I think first thing we need to do is acknowledge that – we need to acknowledge that this is a generation that wants fanfare, and yet, how do we teach them to be obedient in really quiet places. And so, one of the things that I have been intentional to really think through is: what are the girls that I’m discipling, what are they seeing in my life? Because, if we’re not intentional, what they see is me leading Bible Study, me discipling girls, me being able to teach a bunch of women about Jesus. And, what they’re seeing are all these really amazing spiritual things that I’m doing that a lot of people are watching and are really exciting. What they don’t see is when I make dinner for my family, or I show up faithfully to work everyday and work really hard unto the Lord, or when I’m grocery shopping, and so, I think we need to realize that, unintentionally, we can curate our lives for our disciplees to only see a certain aspect of what we do. And so, when they grow up and they have to make dinner for their family they might think, “Well, Abby was doing all these amazing things, why am I just making dinner for my kids?” And we need to be intentional to invite them into those quiet places where we are faithfully loving and serving Jesus – when no one’s watching.

Jack: That’s great, Abby. You know, you mentioned what it is to see life in the mundane but then also in the spiritual realm. How do you tie those things together? What are you doing as disciplemaker to communicate some of those truths that, you know, life is not lived on either side?

Abby: Yeah, oh this is my favorite thing to talk about, Jack. Um, I think a lot of times, really the thing I hear the most from my girls is that, “I do all these spiritual things and then I go on with the rest of my life.” And no one taught them, no one taught them, how to walk with Jesus in the mundane! And so, they think being spiritual – walking with Jesus – is reading their Bible, praying, sharing the Gospel. And, if they’re not doing one of those things in that moment, they’re part of just their normal, secular life. And so, because we have not taught this generation how to commune with Christ in the everyday, they have these two separate lives and they don’t know how to merge them. And I truly, truly, believe they desire to, but they don’t understand how they can go to their tennis match and play while communing with Jesus; they don’t know how, even my generation, doesn’t know how to go grocery shopping for Jesus and honor Him in that. And while that sounds so silly, don’t we have the Holy Spirit in us? Isn’t that what Christ came to do – to invade every aspect of our life? And so, we get to worship him, not just by singing praises, but also while we work, while we get to participate in our everyday, mundane, unexciting lives. And so, I think that’s the biggest thing we can teach this generation.

Jack: How do you do that, Abby? You know, as you try to help not just other women in their walk with Christ, but to catch that spirit to the third and fourth generation?

Abby: Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s probably, like, two specific things that I intentionally do. So, the first is, I would say, as a discipler, my girls often see me as the “spiritual side” of their life because we’re talking about spiritual things; but, we’re meeting, we’re reading the Bible. And so, one of the most powerful things I can do is be involved in the “real” parts of their life – so that means picking them up from high school; that means talking about what they’re doing in math class, how they bombed a math test and it was really hard; it means talking about just like things that are fun that don’t necessarily immediately relate back to the Bible. It means showing up for their tennis matches; it means having a sleepover and watching like a silly movie. So, how can I, as almost a spiritual side of their life, enter into the very real, secular sides of their life as well? So, I think that’s the first thing – if we’re only showing up in a spiritual context, we’re affirming that there is a spiritual side of their life and there is a secular side; and so, we need to break that barrier down with our presence and with our involvement. But, I think the second thing is inviting them into the mundane places of my life as well; and talking about what does it look like to honor God in this area? One of the things I really like to do is, again when I’m showing up to these like very normal, everyday things, talking about, “Well what do you think Jesus has to say about that?” So, I remember a couple weeks ago there was, one of my girls had something really disappointing happen; it wasn’t a big deal, it wasn’t anything super spiritual, it was just a small thing that had happened that was really disappointing. And, as we talked about it, instead of quoting Scripture and saying, “Hey this is how you should think about it; this is how you should feel about it.” What I asked her is, “Well, what do you think Jesus has to say about that? Do you think He has anything that He wants to tell you in the midst of thisdisappointment?” And, I didn’t know what Jesus wanted to say to her, so we just stopped and were driving in the car, so we are at a stoplight – don’t worry I prayed with my eyes open – but we’re at a stoplight and I just prayed, “Lord, do you have anything you want to say to her about this?” And then, we were just quiet. And, I can’t say it was like this magical, amazing, moment where like the Holy Spirit spoke to her so clearly, but how can we ask those questions in the midst of really mundane things? So, how do we bring this idea of Jesus is interacting with us right now in this mundane stuff. I think the second thing too is: how do I, I need to dialogue with them, how I’m navigating honoring God with every aspect of my life? So, I’m pretty open about my life to my girls; so, one of the things I’ll talk about is like I’m trying to figure out like what does it look like to honor God with my money? And dialogue – do you guys have any thoughts on that, I’m really trying to navigate this as well? So, inviting them into the places that my faith and myknowing of the Gospel is transforming my everyday life.

Jack: Boy that’s good. You know, Abby, there’s – we touched on this earlier – but there’s a kind of constant performance level that, especially the social media brings up, where the appearance of happiness is more important than actually being happy. And, we know this generation, there’s shame, there’s struggle in the midst of that. What are some of the things that you’ve intentionally done to step into these areas to help young women deal with this?

Abby: Yeah, well I think there is so much shame in this generation, but I think the first thing – as we think about how to step into these really deep, hard places – is how do we make these girls feel known? And so, I just, I just think it’s such a joy and honor to be able to be a witness to what God is doing in their life. And, I want to make sure that they know that I care about them. And so, one of the things that I’m really intentional about, again, is just showing up holistically in their lifenot just in a piece of it. I want them to be known not just who they are at Bible Study, but who they are, you know, at lunch in high school, who they are on the tennis court, who they are on the basketball court, who they are with their family. And so, how can I holistically know them and just acknowledge those pieces of them?

I think the second thing is just being able to acknowledge that they have something to offer;because, if we’re gonna talk about shame, if we’re gonna talk about those deep places where they are fearful of sharing, there has to be trust. And so, I can build trust by showing up, but then also showing that I trust them. This generation wants to have something to contribute and they want to be trusted. If you are just showing up to teach them, they’re gonna have a very hard time sharing with you because they want to know that they have value in your life too. And so, one of the things that I’m very intentional to do is invite them into what I’m struggling with, what I’m navigating, what I’m thinking through, and give them an input. And so, for example, um, a couple months ago I was leading a devotional for a group of leaders and I wanted to practice it before I got up in front of everyone and shared. And so, I actually grabbed one of my high school girls, took her out to coffee and was like, “Hey, can I just practice my devo with you? And can you give me feedback on it?” And so, I sat down, went through my whole devo with her, and then she gave me pointers. And, I think that is such a sweet place where we, as disciplers, get to humble ourselves and like get to actually live inside of community and not in this – I don’t know – like leadership moment where, “I’m investing in you, and I have so much to offer you; but, you don’t have anything to offer me.” Because, at the foot of the cross, we’re all equal; and so, how do I engage with the girls I’m discipling in a way, acknowledging that I do have things to offer them, but they also have things to offer me, and the Holy Spirit can use them to minister to me as well.

Jack: Boy, that’s good. You know that’s something I’ve been thinking about, and I’ve actually shared this in a number of talks that I’ve given recently, but Ephesians 2:10, where it says, “For we are God’s masterpieces. He’s created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he’s planned for us long ago.” I think about, especially if I think there’s a word picture for young women in this day-and-age, is God’s masterpieces. I think that God dotes over them, as we would sometimes dote over a special piece of art or something that is very unique and precious to us. But, as you think about young women and some of the folks that you’ve actually been ministering to, what is it that you do to actually engage with them around, I think, not just allowing the Holy Spirit entering in, but helping them to refute the lies of the world?

Abby: Oh yeah, oh yeah. If there is anything that we need to talk about with this next generation, it’s the core lies that they believe. I think they have been, yeah, just very much whispered to by Satan about the lack of their worth, the lack of their ability to trust God, and so we have an opportunity as disciplers to not only share how the Gospel changes our relationship with God, but how the Holy Spirit transforms our identity. One of the things I’ve really noticed over the past couple years is just this huge struggle with shame, that’s something that I personally have experienced, I know Millennials have experienced, the girls I’ve discipled experience. And, I think it’s, it’s not simple; and, there’s a couple reasons why this is such a stronghold that Satan has in this generation. I think the first is they don’t know the difference between conviction – which would be Godly guilt – and shame. So, when I do something that displeases God, when I sin against someone, I do feel guilt; and that is good; that calls me to repentance. But, what shame does – guilt is always specific; it’s always specific. When the Holy Spirit is convicting me, He’s convicting me of the words I said; I can remember the exact sentence I said. Whereas shame says, “You are a mess-up; you are wrong; no one will ever like you; you’re a terrible friend.” So, the difference between conviction and shame is that conviction is specific and something specific we can repent about; shame says who we are is wrong and broken and we will never be redeemed. And no one – I feel like no one is teaching that distinction – they don’t know that. And so, they interpret guilt and conviction as shame, and then they don’t know how to repent; and, when we don’t live in repentance, of course we don’t feel the peace of Christ. And so, I feel like my girls, they know that God is Just and that Jesus died to atone for God’s wrath and wipe their sin clean, but they don’t understand fully that because, even though we are saved, we still sin, but we have this throne of grace that we can approach and repent and be at peace with Christ. Because they’ve lived in this world of just ultra-grace, what they’ve been told is, you know, “God forgives you; God forgives you; God forgives you,” and that’s so true, and yet, no one taught them the process of repentance. And so, they just keep hearing, “God forgives you; God forgives you,” but they feel guilt and shame and they don’t know what to do about it. And so, their reaction is basically if I feel this way, God must not be real cause Jesus’s grace is supposed to cover everything and I still feel guilty and ashamed. But, it’s because they haven’t repented. And so, what I have, like one of the sweetest things we’ve gotten to practice is just teaching them what to do with our guilt and how do we bring that before God; ask for repentance and experience the transforming grace of Christ.

Jack: Well, how has this ultra-grace concept been damaging in your mind to these Gen Z teens?

Abby: Yeah, I think, um, I think there’s so many ways, first, it’s that no one taught them repentance, and no one taught them what to do with conviction. And so, what they do is they push it aside completely. When they have conviction from the Holy Spirit, no one taught them how to come before God and repent, and so they just feel complete worthlessness when they do something wrong. This generation they want to do right. What I love, love, love about them is they know when they’ve messed up and they’re mortified by it; and yet, no one’s taught them what to do with that. Um, I think also – with ultra-grace – because they’ve been taught, “Jesus forgives; Jesus forgives; Jesus forgives,” no one’s teaching them about how to strive for holiness. And so – holiness is not perfection, and yet it’s the fruit that happens when the Spirit renews us – and so, what they hear, they have to choose, it feels like, between ultra-grace and perfection. And, when they can’t reach perfection, they choose ultra-grace – where my actions don’t matter, my sin doesn’t matter – because they’ve already tried being perfect and it doesn’t work.

Jack: How do you bring this message and this concept of repentance into the context of discipleship?

Abby: Yeah, I think you’ve gotta model it first. One of the things that I um had modeled to me within my own – the people I’ve worked for, the people that have discipled me, just leadership in general – they were so quick to repent in front of me. And so, when I am maybe pushed too hard, I’m known to do that when I’m pushed too hard in a situation. I might offend someone, or when I don’t show up to Bible Study prepared, what I’m intentional to do is not try and hide my sin, not try and hide the ways I messed up, but to intentionally say, “Hey guys, I really messed this up today and I just, I am sorry. Would you forgive me?” And, I’m really specific to tell them what I’m sorry for, “So, I’m sorry for saying this comment to you; I thought it was funny and it was unkind, would you please forgive me?” And so, when they see that I – because I’m confident in who Christ is – I don’t have anything to hide, I don’t have to worry about being perfect; I can come before them and ask for their forgiveness. Then, all of a sudden they know they don’t have to be perfect. So, I think that’s the first thing. I think you know two other ways that I really try to incorporate this is every – my poor girls – every time we meet, one of the things I always pray before we get started is, “Lord, if there is any way that we’ve sinned against you and we don’t know, would you bring that to mind and would we quickly repent?” And so, I just ask that the Holy Spirit would convict them, so that they have the opportunity to repent and experience the sweet grace of Jesus. And then, I think the third thing is, and I hear this all the time from our generation and Gen Z’ers, is they’ll tell me, “You know, I just feel so distant from God.” Um, and I think we’ve all gone through seasons of that; and yet, what I also know is when I’m living in unrepentance, when there’s sin that I’m unwilling to give up, I always feel distant from God. And so, gently, very gently, I will ask them, “Was there any sin you haven’t repented of?” And, nine times out of ten there is. And so, what we get to do then, is, I get to say, “Well hey, would you like to repent of that?” And, sometimes they’re ready to and, to be honest, sometimes they aren’t. And so, what I, if they are ready, I’ll just say, “I’m gonna open us up in prayer and then I would just love for you to repent to Jesus about this and experience His grace.” But, there’s times where you know I’ve had girls walking through a lot of bitterness um which I have had to walk a really long road with, and I’ve asked them, you know, are you ready to repent of this? And they’ll say, “No, I still love my sin.” And, I get that, because I’ve been there. And so, what I’m able to say to them is, “Well, I’m gonna pray that God would soften your heart and that you would see your sin as painful and life-destroying like it is, and God would give you a heart of repentance, so can I pray that over you right now?” And, I’ll pray that God would give them a heart of repentance, ‘cause it’s only through the Holy Spirit that we have the power to repent of sin and turn towards righteousness. And so, we have got to talk about the fact that there is sin in our lives, and we’ve got to acknowledge that we need to repent of it.

Jack: That is so good, Abby. And, to see you personally modeling with that, wrestling with it, and then being able to translate that and help them understand that for their own lives is so key and important to the next generation as we disciple other men and women. So, thank you so much for your time today.

Abby: Yeah, Jack, thank you for letting me be here and yeah, I am just so excited for this generation; they are a generation that wants to know Jesus and are hungry to be discipled!

Jack: Amen, they’re a blank slate.

Abby: Yes, yes they are!

Jack: We’ve learned today how important it is to understand the context and climate of the culture of those we’re discipling. Abby has shared foundational truths about both Gen Z and Millennials, showing us how we can model merging the sacred and secular, how we, as disciplemakers, get to share how the Gospel changes our relationship with God, and how the Holy Spirit transforms our identity. What a blessing to see how Abby models moving toward righteousness through repentance, honesty, and simply showing up in the lives of those we disciple!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped! If Millennials and Gen Z is a topic you’re enjoying learning more about, you’re in for a treat as we’ll be focusing on Millennials this month! (and if you haven’t listened to our Podcast 008: Leading the Next (and Now) Generation of Disciplers with Mark Heffentrager that’s another great resource on this topic!) For more on The Apprentice Approach, including the full transcript of this podcast, resources, our blog, and to sign up for emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org , and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

And let me encourage you to pass this on to a friend!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!




010: Evangelism: Six Common Mistakes to Avoid

Jack: Welcome to The Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 010, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today, we have the privilege of having Scott Morton with us again for part two of our Evangelism series! If you haven’t heard our previous podcast, I’d highly recommend listening in to a great conversation, including some very practical questions anyone can ask their skeptical friends. It’s a great place to start. Scott is the author of Down-to-Earth Discipling and For You, My Friend: Spiritual Insights From a Skeptic.* He’s a long-time friend of ours and currently the International Funding Coach of The Navigators which takes him all over the U.S. meeting with and encouraging folks who are on the front-lines sharing the Gospel. This is one of the reasons we’re talking with Scott about Evangelism – he knows how to do it and he actually lives this stuff out! But not only that, Scott is a master at helping us see how Evangelism and Discipleship go hand-in-hand… and neither are as scary as people think!

Today, Scott shares how to avoid six mistakes as we engage with people who need to hear the Good News of the Gospel, while also offering insight and advice about how to actually have these conversations… even if you don’t think Evangelism is your gifting. Such a joy to have Scott with us again today, so let’s dive in…

Jack: Well, here we’re back with Scott Morton again. Scott being an International Funding Coach of The Navigators, is also a wrestler of Evangelism. He’s deeply committed to this concept that when Jesus said to “make disciples,” Evangelism and Discipleship go hand-in-hand. Scott, we know that statistics show that very few believers share their faith on a regular basis, some never. “It’s the pastor’s job,” they say. You know, we have discovered that probably two out of five believers don’t believe that they have non-believing friends. Talk to us about how that impacts their willingness to share their faith with others.

Scott: Yeah, I think a lot of us are reluctant to share our faith because of previous failures. Just yesterday, I asked a businessman believer if he’d ever shared his faith. “Oh yes,” he said, “but it didn’t go very well.” So, he’s got that in the back of his mind, Jack, as he thinks about sharing again and it’s probably not going to happen. Now, a lot of believers, most I think, would like to reach out and disciple others. Not everyone knows the Great Commission, but some know that Jesus said to “make disciples of all nations.” Recently a friend told me that he’s retiring from his business early; he’s in the prime of life and he says, “I’ve got more time now, I’d like to disciple some guys.” I said, “Great.” But, he was thinking about discipling guys in his church, but he was struggling to find a church member who would be interested in studying with him. So, I made this comment, I said, “How about some of your non-believing friends?” There was a long silence. This was a new thought for him.

Jack: Boy! I’m finding that also. You know, a Barna report that came out, stated that ½ of believers in this day and age have only had one to maybe two faith conversations with non-believers this past year. And that, I think, is staggering in the context of what Jesus left us with, to “make disciples.” So Scott, let’s get into this dynamic tension between Evangelism and Discipleship.

Scott: Well, they fit together, and we Americans tend to think either/or: it’s either Evangelism or Discipling, and I favor discipling or discipleship and I disfavor Evangelism because I’m out of my comfort zone. And if you don’t have the gift of Evangelism, well then, we’re stuck. But, we’re not told to be Evangelists; we are told to “do the work of an evangelist” in 2 Timothy. So, what is the “work of Evangelism?” I also notice in Matthew 4:19, you know the story, where Jesus was walking on the seashore and he’d already met these guys before, but he said to Peter, and Andrew, James, and John, “Follow me and I will make you deeply spiritual men.” [laughter] Well no, it doesn’t say that. It says, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” in other words, “I will help you to reach out and touch other people.” In Luke 5:10, you know the story there, where Jesus got into Peter’s boat and pushed out and preached to the people, and they went out and caught some fish. And he comes back to shore and Peter is saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man,” and Jesus said, “From now on you will be catching men.” Now this is what’s on Jesus’ mind: reaching out to other people. And so, this idea that we can be a disciple of Christ and then ignore Evangelism, ignore sharing our faith, it doesn’t even compute, Jack. It’s like an oxymoron, it just, it can’t be. Reaching out is the normal Christian life, but we’ve made it (at least in the West), not reaching out is the normal Christian life. So, anyway, to reduce frustration in sharing Christ, I think it’s more of a practical issue than a theological issue. We’ve got frustrations; we’ve made mistakes. So, here’s six mistakes that I’ve made and that I think a lot of people have made on sharing your faith. Are you ready?

Jack: We’re all ready.

Scott: Alright here we go, number one: Too much, too fast. In Matthew 13, the parable of “The Sower” or the parable of “The Four Soils,” the first seed is sown beside the road and it didn’t make it into the good soil. You can imagine a seed laying out on a dry, dusty, hardened, gravel road or concrete road- it didn’t make it into the good soil. And Jesus said, “When anyone hears the Word of the Kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart,” that’s Matthew 13:19, “does not understand it.” Now the word “understand” here in Greek is suniemi, and it’s the same word that’s used for the word, “synagogue.” In other words, it’s a place of bringing things together. [Jack: Oh!] So, we have to help our friends “bring things together” about the Gospel. I have a friend in Iowa who said, “My goal at this stage in my life is to bump into people and help them sort out who Jesus is.” I like that. We can do that. We can help people sort out who Jesus is. The fourth soil of the parable, Jesus says, “This is the one on whom seed was sown on the good ground; this is the man who hears the Word and understands it.” So, helping someone understand the Gospel is critical. Now, sometimes we rush to encourage someone to pray the Sinner’s Prayer to invite Christ into their hearts, but does that person understand what he’s praying? He doesn’t need to understand the Nicene Creed, but he does need to understand that basic Gospel message, or the enemy will rip it out of his heart. Jack, maybe you’ve had the experience of you talk with someone one time and they pray to receive Christ and a month later they’re cold to the things of God; I think this is what happens.

Jack: Hmm. You know, it is interesting how we talked about in our past podcast [Episode 009], the importance of asking good questions, and then listening and drawing people out, and there’s a sense that you know, as we’re authentic and as we listen with empathy, folks will come along on the journey with us. So, let’s keep going.

Scott: Well, number two. Number one was: “Too much, too fast.” Number two is: “Too little, too late.” I have dilly-dallied around with some of my friends and acquaintances waiting for the right time, you know what I mean? It’s gotta be a “right time,” and so I say, “Well, it’s not today; I might offend them, they’ve just gone through a struggle, I don’t know,” and so I wait. I wait. Sometimes we think that we must become their best friend and be invited to sing at their wedding and then we finally get to share the Gospel with them. Now my car body shop guy, and if you have a teenage son, then you will become well acquainted with the guys in the body shop, I assure you that. So, he and I met several times, we kind of liked each other and became friends. And he suddenly moved away and I couldn’t find him, and I had never shared the Gospel with him. Even though we’d been together, Jack, probably 10 or 12 times. We’d gone out to supper as couples, and I’d never shared anything because of waiting for “just the right time” and it didn’t happen. So, I heard he had left town, I went to the body shop and couldn’t find him. They said, “Yeah, he’s left town, but here’s where he lives.” I drove around his neighborhood trying to find this guy’s car. I regret that I was too little and too late. I was working on building the relationship and never got around to sharing Christ. Another couple Alma and I were befriending, they had a million problems, we were their friends. We helped them buy groceries; we helped them with this and that, and he had AIDs and moved back to his country before we even talked about Christ. But, it had been close to a year, Jack, and I hadn’t shared a thing. I was waiting for the “right time.” Too little, too late. Number three: “Forgetting You’re Part of a Big Team.” Now, let’s take a look here at 1 Corinthians chapter 3, verses 5-9. Let me just read this and uh there’s some good insights here. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, this is Paul writing to the Corinthians, a church he had started, “What then is Apollos and what is Paul? Servants through whom he believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity (underline it), opportunity, to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor, for we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” Paul didn’t do it all by himself. Apollo didn’t do it all by himself. Paul planted; Apollos watered; and God gave the increase. God changes lives. You and I cannot change lives. Now, verse 8 says that “he who plants and he who waters are one.” We’re teammates. We’re not competitors, we’re partners in this campaign directed by God. Verse 9 says, “we are fellow workers.” But, though we are one we bring different talents to the team. Verse 8 says, “according to his own labor.” So Jack, as you and I are talking to people, we might know the same people, we each have a little different contribution to make. [Jack: uh-huh] I think sometimes we say, “Well, since I can’t make the entire contribution, I don’t do anything.” So, you are on a big team, God is moving in the lives of our non-believing friends, and you play an important role. Maybe you’re a planter, maybe you’re a waterer, but use the gifting God has given you in the process. So back to verse 5, who is Apollos and who is Paul? Servants. Jack, that’s our identity, we are servants as links in the chain. The word here is a word diakonos, and it means “a lowly table servant.’ It’s not even the top of the servant chain. It’s at the bottom of the servant chain! So that’s our identity: we’re simply table waiters serving other people. Now notice that phrase, “as the Lord gave opportunity.” We have opportunity. Now Jack, have you ever said, “You know, I should say something here. I should ask a question here.” And we let it go, and then the moment passes. God gives us opportunities.

Jack: That’s so interesting. A number of years ago, I was with a group of men and we were talking amongst ourselves and some of these men were friends, but all their wives were involved in a Bible Study that Shaunda, my wife, led. And as they talked, they began, the conversation changed to the time that they spend over in our house in Bible Study. We bought a latte machine and they renamed our kitchen “Shaunda-bucks,” but only to hear that these men were beginning to see the changes in their wives’ lives as a result of not just their wives coming to Christ, but, growing in their faith. And as they began to ask questions, they kind of pushed on me in a sense, and they asked, “What’s going on there? We can’t get that.” And I said, “Well that’s a great question, why don’t we get together? And we can get together, we could go to my office or another room, and we could sit down and begin to talk about some of the same things that they talked about.” Well long story short, as a result of stepping into that opportunity, we had a chance to see all those men come to Christ as well with their wives! But it was, again, it was what I could do. We all have stories and God has us all on journeys and my responsibility was just, at that point, to ask the right kind of question and move into that.

Scott: So Shaunda watered, and Jack or Shaunda planted, and Jack watered.

Jack: That’s exactly right.

Scott: Well okay, so that’s three. Number four is: “Forgetting that the Holy Spirit is With Us.” 2 Corinthians 2:15 is a verse that I think is about sharing our faith, but we overlook it. It says, “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God, among those being saved, and among those who are perishing. To the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.” So, when you are among non-believers, you carry the aroma of Christ. There’s an odor about you. Those who are following truth among our friends, that is, they’re moving toward Christ, the aroma you give is a fragrance of life. It’s attractive.

Jack: Well, hopefully it is.

Scott: Hopefully it is. But, it was attractive with you and Shaunda cause they wanted to find out more. And even on a bad day, Jack, you give off this aroma. Just by being around non-believers, even on a bad day, we smell of Christ. But, it’s also an aroma of death to those that are not following truth. But in any case, it’s an aroma that’s a reminder of Christ. It’s a link in a chain. Now, John 15:26 is a verse that I think we all know, it’s the one Jesus gave this at the Last Supper. He says, John 15:26, “When the helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who precedes from the Father, he (not it), he will testify about me and you will testify also. Because you have been with me from the beginning.” Okay, so the Holy Spirit is testifying to people about God and we are testifying to people about God. We are working in concert with the Holy Spirit, and we’re the junior member here. The Holy Spirit is the prime mover, we’re the junior member, but we are participating. So, I like to ask myself when I’m with someone new, or when the topic merges into serious things, instead of non-serious things, I say, “What is God doing right now? Lord help me to move in the right way. Help me to ask questions. Help me to make a comment. What do I, do I just stay quiet?” I want to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. God is much more interested in winning people to Christ than you and I are.

Jack: Yeah, that’s good Scott.

Scott: In the classic book The Hound of Heaven by a guy named Francis Thompson written 120 years ago, this is what Francis Thompson said, “I fled him down the nights and down the days; I fled him down the arches of the years; I fled him down the labyrinthine ways of my own mind in the midst of tears; I hid from him.” This was an opium addict running away from God in London in about the 1890’s. Amazing. God is more interested in seeking people, and He’s doing that, and you and I aren’t the first people to the table. The Holy Spirit has already been working in our friend’s lives, we get to participate in that.

Jack: Amen! You know Barna said, it came up in their research, he [David Kinnaman] talked about as the Barna Group: 47% of Millennials who are practicing Christians say, “it is wrong to Evangelize.” Seems to me there’s a misunderstanding that tolerance is in conflict with the wisdom it takes to move people along in their Gospel journey. Talk to us about that, Scott.

Scott: Yeah, a lot of people use the frame, “I don’t like the Gospel shoved down my throat.” And nobody likes anything shoved down their throat. You and I don’t either [Jack: Right]. So, in doing Evangelism, we are not shoving things down people’s throat, we are not being judgmental, we’re not telling people something that they don’t even want to hear, being impolite about it. So, we are tolerant, of course, we are tolerant, but this message needs to be shared. And I think if we work with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is going to touch people’s lives and maybe in ways that are uncomfortable for them. But we are participating with this, and the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He doesn’t, he’s not impolite, but he will get through to people in ways. You know, I think of Peter, how did God get through to him? With the miraculous catch! It wasn’t poverty, it was success that got Peter’s attention. So, the Holy Spirit is going to get people’s attention; we are participating with him, we’re not shoving things down people’s throat.

Jack: And he rarely does it the same way with each individual!

Scott: Everybody’s different, yes exactly. Yeah, good. So, number four: “Forgetting About the Holy Spirit in Our Ministry Efforts.” Number five: “Neglecting the Bible.” I have found, Jack, and well I think you have too, in the example you just mentioned, those people who will read the Bible with me over time often come to Christ. Not because I’m such a great Bible teacher; I’m not, but simply because they’re in the Word. My teaching and answering questions is important, building friendships is important, but “the Bible is sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). You know a few years ago, I was meeting with a returned missionary who had done badly on the field and came home as a failure. And it was my job to pick him up at the airport and take him to lunch and try to cheer him up a little bit. Well, I took him to White Castle Hamburger shop, which maybe my first mistake. [laughing] [Jack: Haha, culture shock!] We sat there for three hours and I listened, and I tried to give advice, and finally at the end of three hours I said, “Is there anything at all I’ve said (because it wasn’t going anywhere), is there anything at all that I’ve said that’s been any encouragement at all?” He said, “No, not really.” Which was humbling. But he said, “There was a verse you shared, what was that verse again?” Jack, we have got to stop talking and start sharing the Scriptures, because the Scriptures are powerful. So, let’s get our non-believing friends into the Bible.

Jack: That’s good. That’s good, Scott.

Scott: Now here is a practical tool. So, when you meet a seeker friend, either for lunch or for a coffee break or just in your office or home, wherever. Should you bring a Bible? Should they bring a Bible? I’m finding with this generation they’re not gonna carry Bibles around in the glove box of their car, so I usually don’t ask them to bring a Bible. Sometimes I’ll bring two little New Testaments and give them one as a gift, that’s powerful because they might read that when we don’t talk about it. But usually, I Google a New Testament story about Jesus and then I copy it, simply Xerox it, and I try to find a story of Jesus maybe 10-20 verses long, not too long, and then I give one copy to him and we keep a copy. So, after we’ve had our lunch, I take my time, I say, “Okay, should we take a look at the life of Jesus?” And, I give him the paper and then I read through it, I usually don’t ask him to read through it; he might not be comfortable reading out loud. So I say, “This a great story; let’s read it.” I read the passage aloud and after I read the passage, I just let it sit for a few seconds, then I say, “What happened here?” And then I review the facts of the, because I’m finding that sometimes if you ask them just to say, “What do you see?” they don’t know where to start. So, I’ll just review the facts, so Jesus was in the boat, they went out to deep water, and I put it in my own words. And then I say, “Okay, what do you see? What stands out to you?” And there’s no science to it really, it’s just being real with your friend and discussing things. And I usually like to quit when it’s kind of at a high point so that there may be something else we can discuss the next time we get together. But I always ask at the end, “What’s the takeaway for you?” I like that word “takeaway.” If I can get people to study the Bible about Jesus, then that puts them on a train that takes them to Heaven. It’s not about me; it’s between them and Jesus’s Word.

Jack: You know it is interesting, Scott, how that takes hard work [Scott: Yeah!] and a real commitment to hang in there with people. Because inevitably, they’ll cancel, things will come up, and there’s always something else other than wanting to get together to talk about the Bible.

Scott: Stuff always comes up. This week I had to move an appointment to next week, “Golly, Scott, I can’t make it.”

Jack: Yeah. You know I have found, I’ve picked up a couple good apps on my phone that I share with guys before we actually get together. And I’ll say, “Hey download this free app, but download this and begin to read through it because I think this might be a fun little story in order to talk about during our time together.” It’s interesting once they do that, then it remains open on their phone after we get done, they may get home and at night when they’re going through, inevitably going through a text message or a thread or checking email, that app will come back on their screen, that app will pop back up and before they close it out they may re-read it. So, it’s something that we have found that has been helpful as it related to dealing with you know the Bible, getting people in the Bible.

Scott: That’s a great idea. It’s a great idea. It’s one more little seed dropped along the way that makes a difference. Well the last one is: “Forgetting to Pray.” Jack, I confess this is a weakness with me. I’m not a good prayer, I wish I was. But, what I have done is in my journal on the second page, and you don’t have to keep a journal, but I encourage everybody to keep some sort of a prayer list, because our minds are like grasshoppers, I mean they’re all over the place. So, on page one is all my praises and all my confessions of sin, it takes a whole page. And then on page two I’ve listed my non-believing friends and contacts. Some of them I know better than others, I just write their name down and, on my better days, I put my finger on their name and I say, “Lord touch this person, draw them to know you, I don’t know what to do; draw them to know you. I’m going to meet with them next week. Touch their life. Let me be in the right place at the right time.” And I’m finding that as I pray over them things begin to happen. A lot of people say, “Well, I don’t see God working in my life with daily miracles and so on.” Listen, if you get involved in reaching out to your friends, you will see little things like this.

Jack: Yeah, and you know, Scott, I have done the same and one of the things that before I get together and I pray for people, I ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind something that they may have said. And inevitably, I’ve been able to see, you know my memory comes and goes, but the Spirit of God recalls something that they’ve said that I’ve been able to pick up on and carry, maybe even to the next level. And so again it’s part of that engaging the Spirit in a supernatural way through this the power of prayer.

Scott: Yes. I like Job 42:10, “The Lord restored the fortune of Job when he prayed for his friends.” Just that little phrase, “when he prayed for his friends.” Jack, we can do that. We don’t have to be the greatest preacher in the world, we’re not called to do that. But, we can pray for our friends. So, I suggest, make a list of your non-believing friends, start by praying for them. Don’t start by saying anything just yet. Just pray. And say, “Lord bring them across my path,” and then be ready for some miracles.

Jack: That is great, Scott. And that is encouraging to think about just our involvement with the Lord in this process. And I go back and think about these catchy points: “Too much too fast,” “Too little too late,” “Forgetting you’re part of a bigger team…” I think the important and significant part of what it is to “keep the Bible at the center point of what we’re engaging in,” and then “Forgetting to Pray.” I think how important it is, the power of prayer. Someone told me, “Jack, prayer is not part of the ministry, it is the ministry.”

Scott: Yes, that is convicting: it is the ministry. Right. And then also “Not Forgetting that the Holy Spirit is With Us.” [Jack: Oh yeah, sorry. ] We’re a team player with the Holy Spirit.

Jack: Yeah, well thank you so much for putting some of this together and being with us today. And I hope you, our audience, really grapple with some of these points that Scott has made and turn this to become practical aspects of who you are in your sphere of influence.

We’ve really loved having Scott with us during this series, talking about such a relevant topic and helping us see these six common mistakes we can find ourselves making as we engage with non-believers. Scott shared great wisdom for how to avoid these mistakes and also engage at a heart-felt level with our non-believing or skeptical friends. Also, I want to remind you to check out our Resources page and Blog for more great tools and conversations about Evangelism and how it goes hand-in-hand with Disciplemaking.

Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped to be a disciple who makes disciplemakers! For more on The Apprentice Approach, including our regional training events, resources, blog, and to sign up for emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org, and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!




009: Are You an Evangelist or a Sower of The Gospel?

Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 009, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today, we have the privilege of talking with Scott Morton! Scott is the author of Down-to-Earth Discipling and For You, My Friend: Spiritual Insights From a Skeptic.* He’s a long-time friend of ours and currently the International Funding Coach of The Navigators which takes him all over the U.S. meeting with and encouraging folks who are on the front-lines sharing the Gospel. One thing I wanted Scott share with us today is his practical experience with Evangelism. Specifically, I asked Scott to speak to the relationship between Evangelism and Discipleship. Scott’s an expert at helping us see how Evangelism isn’t that scary and also gives us practical questions to use in our next conversation!

Such a joy to have Scott with us today, so let’s dive in…

Jack: Scott, some believers want to disciple others as long as it doesn’t involve that scary word Evangelism. Help us with that, what do you mean by the title of today’s podcast, “Are you an Evangelist or a Sower of the Gospel?”

Scott: Yeah, Jack, thanks. To take the scariness out of Evangelism I think depends on how I see myself. If I see myself as having to be a preacher, then I am petrified. But if I see myself as a Sower of the Gospel, that’s not so terrifying. I can do that. So let’s look at two things today:

The first, is the misconception about my identity in Evangelism. And then the second is asking Gospel questions. I would like to leave our listeners today with questions they can use in their relationships with non-believers, and I would like to offer a book that they can give to their skeptical friends.

Jack: You mean that you just ask these questions outright to non-believers?

Scott: Well they’re not magic questions and it’s all in the context of relationship. So for example, I was talking with a colleague last November about how I invited my banking guy to do Bible Study with me. And he said, “Scott, how did that happen? What questions did you ask the banker that he agreed to do study with you? We don’t know those questions.” And I found that non-believers will respond to just these few key questions.

Jack: Okay, well let’s table those questions right now, but let’s dive into the misconceptions or the brass-tacks about Evangelism.

Scott: One reason that we believers are discouraged about Evangelism is because we think that we’ve got to take the identity of a Preacher and go from 0-60 in about 5 seconds. That is share the Gospel in such a winsome, powerful way that the person we’re talking to completely understands everything about Christ, the Trinity, original sin, Substitionary Atonement, and the Nicene Creed in about 45 minutes [laughing] – and that’s not gonna happen. Or, we think that we gotta have the skills to twist the topic from the Green Bay Packers to the Gospel and sometimes that’s just too awkward. And we want to have our friends eager to see the Bridge diagram in about 10 seconds- it’s not gonna happen, Jack.

Jack: I get that, I can relate to that. So how can we switch our thinking about Evangelism?

Scott: I think we need to stop comparing ourselves with those who have the gift of Evangelism like Billy Graham, or Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, or your Pastor. Some people are instinctive Evangelists, but most of us, including me, are not wired that way. Now, here’s a couple of Bible passages that I hope our listeners will jot down. The first is Romans 12:6-8. Now this is a list of the gifts, and it’s not all the gifts, but it lists seven of them: prophesying, serving, teaching, exhorting, giving, leading, showing mercy; Evangelism is not listed. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 also lists the gifts: 9 gifts and Evangelism is not listed. So now we come to Ephesians 4:11, “and he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”

Jack: Well, are these gifts of the Spirit, offices, or are they roles within the Church?

Scott: Well, they could be either; and, I would say probably both. These gifts, or offices of the Church, are given by God to His people to be used for the equipping of the Saints to the building up of the body of Christ. Evangelism in Greek, I looked it up, simply means a messenger of good. Euangelion (I’m not sure I’m saying it right), “eu” means “well” or “good” and then the last half is “angelos” we get that “angel,” a “messenger.” So it’s a “well or good messenger,” a “messenger of good.” It’s not a messenger of bad, nor a messenger of oratory, nor a messenger of skillful preaching, nor a messenger of condemnation; it’s a messenger of good news. So Jack, when we think about being an Evangelist we don’t have to be a whiz-bang preacher who can mesmerize a crowd. That’s not us, that’s not my gift, but what happens is we excuse ourselves from seeking to win others for Christ thinking that it’s someone else’s job.

Jack: Well that makes sense because I can see myself as a “messenger of good news.” I like to bring good news.

Scott: Yeah, that’s fun. So, be yourself; you simply need to bring good news and we like to give good news don’t we? When my son was born in Madison, it was early in the morning, but I went home as soon as the baby was born and put a big note on the picture window of our house, “It’s a boy!” It was good news; I wanted to share it. So, getting back to the title of the podcast, “A Sower of the Gospel,” that’s good news, but it doesn’t have to be shared all at one time. I am holding here the links of a chain, it’s got about, I’d guess, 12 or 14 links on it. And, we need to see ourselves as being a link in a chain, not a preacher praying the Gospel prayer with people every time we meet them. There are many links that precede the final link. So instead of preachers, let’s think of ourselves as links. Now, in my own case, the first link in the chain (that I remember) was a painting of Jesus knocking at the door hanging in our little country church back in Iowa.

Jack: I remember you saying that, sharing that.

Scott: I was five years old; it made a big impression on me, but at age five I was way too cool to become a Christian. And then a Pastor came to our house when I was in Junior High, he talked about spiritual life; I appreciated it, but I don’t remember what he said. And then I went forward at a meeting one time, don’t particularly know why. And then a Grad student came to my room at Iowa State when I was a freshman and presented The Bridge diagram, and then I attended a Navigator Conference where a businessman quoted Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” and I thought of that picture. Now, all these were links in a chain, but that very day when I heard that businessman quote that verse, I walked into a prayer chapel and asked Christ into my life. That was the final link, or the link where I received Christ. But would that final link have been possible if those others had not been there? I don’t think so. But Jack, everybody has links in a chain. How about you? What would be the links leading up to your conversion?

Jack: Yeah, I think for me, probably was an identity issue. I was so closely tied into my family, that God had to really shake that up in order to get my attention. Then a friend sent me a verse from the Bible, and then another friend, a Navigator staff, shared a simple illustration with me that really made sense and it clicked.

Scott: So it was several things leading up to that before you actually became close with Christ.

Jack: Correct.

Scott: Yeah. So we’re not all gifted Evangelists, but we can all sow seeds. We can all be a link in somebody’s chain. You might not even know when you are a link, probably won’t know, but time will tell.

Jack: Yeah, what does that mean practically for our daily Christian lives?

Scott: Well, I think first of all, we remove ourselves from the guilt of having to accomplish what gifted Evangelists accomplish. Stop comparing yourself with gifted Evangelists.

Jack: That’s good.

Scott: Now, I once traveled around Michigan with a gifted Evangelist visiting Navigator alumni. It was a great trip, I had a great time. But, I noticed the guy that was taking me around, at every restaurant he would engage with the waiter or waitress about the Gospel. It went very well. Even one time with a gas station attendant he gave him a little track; it went very well, and everybody he talked to seemed to appreciate the fact that he took an interest in them. But I thought to myself, “I can’t do that, in fact I don’t even want to do that.” And I thought, “I am not him; God bless him for his gift of Evangelism.” So, let’s get out from the guilt of having to be something we’re not. Number two then, let’s stop excusing ourselves from our duty to be Sowers of the Good News. We say that since we don’t have the “gift of Evangelism,” then we don’t have to bother with Evangelism at all. We can be nice to non-Christians, but that’s about it. Maybe one day they’ll go to Church or watch re-runs of Billy Graham late at night, but we are not excused from Evangelism just because we don’t have the gift.

Jack: Well, what does that practically mean for us on a daily basis? Flesh that out for us.

Scott: Well, I like to think of it this way: when I was playing baseball, everybody on the team had to learn to bunt the ball to advance the runner. Are there certain skills involved in bunting? Yes, you have to start with your bat at the top of the strike zone; you let the ball hit the bat; you don’t push at it, which is a big mistake… and everyone on the team had to learn to do that. Now, some were better at it then others, maybe some were even “gifted” at bunting, but we all had to do it. No one said, “I’m a home run hitter, I don’t need to bunt,” and I was a pitcher and I said, “Well, I don’t do anything but pitch.” No, I had to learn to bunt right along with everybody else. So we all need to learn to be Sowers of the Gospel, whether it’s our gift or not.

Jack: So, that seems to be a challenge – to get our arms around learning these skills of Evangelism. How can we do that?

Scott: Well, I don’t think, I think we make it harder in our minds than it really is. Let’s start with questions that we can ask non-believers. Now, here’s six questions that I ask and that the person I talked to last fall said, “Scott nobody knows these questions.” Well, I think we do, we just haven’t articulated it.

So here’s the first question, Jack, this might work in a role play a little bit, but so the question is with someone that I’ve been around awhile. So, I would go like this, so “Joe, we’ve done business together for a couple years, but tell me about your history, where you grew up; I don’t know anything about where were you born? What was your life like?” And so I just invite them to share their family story. And then I say, “Wow! You’ve had quite a life so far, but what about your spiritual journey during those days?” And it’s interesting to me, Jack, I have not had anyone hesitate to share that. Now they may say, “Well I don’t have much of a spiritual journey at all,” and it might be just two sentences, “I went to church a few times,” but listen. Find out. And then, I like to ask, “Now that you’re an adult, what’s your spiritual journey like these days?” And then I say, “Well Joe, could I tell you my background?” So, I’ll tell them where I was born and I don’t go into two hours of detail here, but just a little bit. And then I say, “Let me tell you a little bit about my spiritual journey.” Now, I may not give a full testimony at this point or the Gospel, but just a little bit about it. And that seems to go pretty well.

Jack: I like how you’ve weaved in the spiritual journey piece in the midst of your story. We all have these, even non-believers have that. Is that threatening for them?

Scott: I’ve not found it to be so. Jack, I think we’d be surprised at how eager people are to talk about the spiritual dimension of life in a non-threatening atmosphere. So, if you’re genuine and you’re authentic and you’re getting to know this person, I don’t think they’re gonna consider it, in fact, I think they’re gonna like to talk about it, at least that’s been my experience so far.

The second question is someone I’ve known for quite awhile and I go like this, so let’s say, “Greg, we’ve been acquainted for a long time but I don’t think I’ve ever told you about something that means a lot to me, my spiritual journey. Have we ever discussed that?” (Now, I’ll give them a chance to answer, because maybe we have.) “I wonder if the next time you come and we get together, if I could tell you about it? It’s not about Church, it’s not about religion, but it’s pretty interesting.” So, at the next time we’re together, whether it’s over lunch or whether he’s a vendor coming in my office, I’ll say, “Greg, let me take a couple minutes and just tell you something that marks my life, and I don’t think I’ve ever told you.”

Jack: Yeah, I like that. So it really makes sense with your chain illustration that this is really a process. And what other ways can you engage non-believers rather than just over a meal?

Scott: Well I’ve noticed a lot of my Gospel sowing is over meals; maybe it’s just because I like to eat, but it can be done a lot of different ways. And Jack, I think you’ve done it over golf and just life celebrations – a birthday party in the neighborhood – and I find sometimes my neighbor, when we’re out shoveling snow together, we’ll just chat a minute or two. [Jack: Yeah, that’s good.] So, anything you can do to build the friendship. And, I find that showing genuine interest in people, that’s compelling.

Jack: You know it is interesting to take advantage of those windows of opportunity, those teachable moments.

Scott: Good way to put it, yeah. The third question is maybe something that is a bit more of a risk, but I’d say something like this, “Bob, besides my job here at the real estate company, one thing I like to do is I like to do Bible Study with young business guys like yourself. Now, you said you were once in a Bible study in your Church a few years ago? Tell me about that.” So, I’ll let him tell me about that, if he’s had a background in it. And I’ll say, “Well Bob, why don’t we meet for lunch a couple times and study the life of Jesus? We need to understand what Jesus was about, and by the way it’s my treat. Do you like Mexican food? I got a place.” And, Jack, no one has ever turned me down on this. Now, I don’t think it’s just because they’re afraid to turn me down; I think they’d turn me down, but they sense that I’m interested in them. But more than that, it’s not because of my personality, God is in this. And God is willing to go to bat here.

Jack: That makes total sense. You know, Scott, you ask such great questions. But, I think one of the things of knowing you and seeing you in action, I wanted to ask you the question: what have you learned about the power of listening? Because you are such a good listener and from that are able to pull out things as people talk to you in a very practical way.

Scott: Well, I think listening is a learned skill. If you’d have talked to my wife twenty years ago, you would not have had that same conclusion. [Laughing] Listening, instead of while the other person is talking, instead of thinking what we’re going to say, we have to genuinely be there. And so, we’re looking at them, but don’t stare at the person steady for thirty minutes, that’s gonna spook them. So, just be natural and I like to say, “Tell me more about that.” There’s always a, everybody has a story, and it’s usually a sad story. So, I think we probe. We ask questions. And, it’s okay for there to be periods of silence. I think the first good listener I ever talked to, I was telling him something and he said, “Tell me more,” and then I told him more, and then he said, “Tell me more,” and then I told him more and then there was silence, and I kept going. This man was a good listener and I thought, “I can do that.” Listening is a learned skill; I think we can do it.

The fourth question is one about The Navigators; so you often get asked, “Where’d you go last weekend?” “Well, I went to a conference sponsored by The Navigators,” or the Lutheran Church, whatever it is, because you’re going to meetings like this, if it was about marriage, “Can I tell you about something I learned?” So, this is just, we bring in our regular life experiences with our friends. So people say, “Well then, what’s The Navigators?” “Great question, The Navigators is an inter-denominational organization that helps people discover how to develop their spiritual life, especially for those people that would never darken the door of a church.” And, sometimes my people say, “Well that’s me.” And so, I like to say, “Well let me tell you how it began. The Navigators began with a young drunk Presbyterian man trying to swim across a lake with his girlfriend late at night in Southern California. That’s how it began.” Well, they’re intrigued, but I would encourage everyone to read the book Daws and learn Dawson’s testimony because you can tell it; it’s safe. It’s fascinating. But, it gets the facts of the Gospel out.

Jack: Yeah, I like what you said how people can take what they’ve learned and utilize that in such a way, “Hey, you know there’s something that I picked up at Church that I wanted to bounce off of you,” or on the radio, or there’s a piece on the news that they can practically get their arms around in order to create conversation. You know, Scott, what have you found, the best way to transition conversations towards the context of spiritual things? How do you make that shift?

Scott: Well, I don’t try to be sneaky about it. I used to try to be sneaky about it and then people feel like they’re being manipulated.

Jack: Yeah, that’s good.

Scott: Just be who you are. So the best phrase I think I’ve come up with is, “You know, I don’t know that I’ve ever told you about something very precious to me: my spiritual journey. I wonder, may I tell you about that?” And so, you get their permission. If it’s with a stranger of course, you wouldn’t do it that way, but with someone you’ve known awhile, I’ve found that to be probably the key phrase.

Jack: That’s good.

Scott: One more question, sometimes people ask me and they’ll ask you as well, they’ll say, “Scott when did you get out of baseball? Why’d you get out of baseball?” Or it could be with you, “Why did you get out of being a lawyer?” Whatever it is. And I like to say, “Well, it was a fascinating journey. All I can say is that I followed God’s leading. Next time we get together, could I tell you the whole story? We don’t have time now, but I’d like to tell you the whole story; it’s fascinating and I’d love to share it with you.”

Jack: I like that, John Crawford once said to me, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, but you can rub a little bit of salt on his tongue,” and I thought, “there’s some things there that we can drop in and create interest that they’ll want to continue the conversation to the next link, to the next link.

Scott: I think we identify with Christ and leave a little question out there and the Holy Spirit will go to work on our friends.

Jack: That’s good. Hey, Scott, like you, I travel a lot and I get on a plane and I sit down and I look across to the person sitting next to me, to my seatmate, and all of a sudden I realize either they want to talk or they don’t want to talk. They’ll put their headphones on, but 9 times out of 10, there are a lot of people that just want to talk. How do you engage someone in that environment?

Scott: Well, sometimes I’m so tired at the end of a trip that I say, “Lord don’t let them talk to me.” I confess I don’t want to talk. My life was touched by a friend of mine who we were at a conference together and we were sharing a bathroom and I could overhear him in the next bedroom early in the morning having his quiet time and he prayed out loud. He was praying, “Lord on the way home today may I sit with someone who needs to hear the Gospel and would you give me the words to say?” He was eager to share the Gospel.

Jack: Boy, that takes some courage!

Scott: Yeah and I thought, “I can’t do that!” but I thought, “Lord I will do that.” And so, it was not long after that that I came across Romans 1:15; we all know Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…” but Romans 1:15 has another “I am.” It says, “For my part, I am eager to preach the Gospel to you who are also in Rome.” Eager. I thought, “I’m not eager; I’m anything but eager, I’ll do it if I have to.” Let’s get rid of that attitude. So, on an airplane trip or someone I’m not gonna see again probably ever, I’ll say something like this, “Bob, I really enjoyed talking with you today; now we might never see each other again, but may I give you a gift as we depart here? This little booklet…” (now hold it up and I’ll maybe blow some dust off of it and I’ll hold it up to them), and I’ll say, “This little booklet was written by a friend of mine and it’s about developing a strong spiritual journey and you can see (I’ll page through) it’s got some cartoons in it and it’s got some sarcasm and some humor and it’s even got a nasty word in it, so I thought you’d enjoy it.” And I hold it out to them and everyone I’ve ever presented this to has taken it, Jack. So I’ll put my business card in it here and “God Bless You” and that’s it. And, that’s a link in a chain. That is being a Sower of the Gospel.

Jack: Boy, I like that. And I like this little book. And for our friends listening, we’ll, in our show notes in just a second, we’ll talk more about that.* But, Scott, what I hear you saying is that we can be ourselves, not compare ourselves, but just be faithful to what we know God has asked us to do. And as you’ve done that, I love this little book that you’ve written on the spiritual insights from a skeptic. It gives, it brings up practical things that people are wrestling with. How did you come up with this idea?

Scott: Well I wrote it originally for a friend of mine (way smarter than I am), and I couldn’t answer his questions. I didn’t even know what kind of questions to ask him and one night I was thinking of him, laying in bed at night. At midnight, I got up and started writing this book. And there’s nine guidelines or principles for developing a spiritual life and it doesn’t end with the sinner’s prayer; it ends with a question of, “Lord, I think if you’re there I want to know you more; lead me to the next step.” It’s very open-ended. But, I wrote it because he and I agreed on a lot of things. For example, the first one: “Life is not fair.” He agrees with that. I agree with that; and so, then it just takes us down to where we agree on a lot of things. So, I wrote it as a way of keeping the conversation going, because a lot of us, after we get done talking about the Green Bay Packers, we don’t know where to go.

Jack: [with a laugh] Oh, I don’t know about that. We can certainly start from there.

Scott: We start from there, but to get to the Gospel. So, I find this is a way of keeping the conversation going and I use this with strangers. But also, I used it with my grandson. We met for Mexican food after school and we would do a chapter a week and we’d read through it and then I would bring in a Bible verse connected to it. I also have mailed it off to friends and one woman wrote back and said, “You know your little booklet, my kid’s not walking with the Lord; but, the booklet was laying on the coffee table. He picked it up and said, ‘Could I take this with me?’”

Jack: Huh! That’s great!

Scott: So, you never know when you’re going to be a link in a chain.

Jack: That’s great. Well, more to come on this booklet and how you can utilize it! Well, Scott, thank you so much for today and it’s always a challenge to not only be with you, but as you talk about your own personal experiences, it’s a challenge for me too. You’re one of my heroes in this area as we take a look at how Evangelism is in total sync with Discipleship and the importance of that, so thank you so much.

Scott: Thank you, Jack. Appreciate you.

Jack: We’ve learned today that there is opportunity for everyone to engage with others in the hopes of them hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ, regardless of if they are “gifted” in Evangelism or not. We just need to focus on taking opportunities to be a link in the chains of the lives of others.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped! For more on The Apprentice Approach, including the full transcript of this podcast, resources, our blog, and to sign up for weekly emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org , and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

*In partnership with The Apprentice Approach, Scott Morton is offering For You, My Friend: Spiritual Insights From a Skeptic at a special discounted rate for our The Apprentice Approach listeners!
From now until May 1, 2019, you can get this practical “sowing seeds” tool for $5 per booklet! Offer expires 5/1/19 or when supplies run out and requires a minimum order of 5 booklets.
Simply email theapprenticeapproach@navigators.org and use Promo Code: TAASOWER.

 




008 Leading the Next (and Now) Generation of Disciplers

Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 8, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples; they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today we will be speaking with Mark Heffentrager, Director of Camping Ministries for Eagle Lake Camps. Mark has over 21 years of experience with Eagle Lake Camps and has seen generations of campers and counselors impacted by their involvement in this ministry. This gives Mark a unique vantage point for understanding how different generations view discipleship and leadership within this ministry.

Today’s episode focuses on how millennials approach discipleship. We will look at how understanding the millennial generation, as well as Gen Z coming behind, is paramount in raising up generations of disciplemakers.

Let’s dive in…

Jack: Welcome, we’re here with Mark Heffentrager. Thank you, Mark, for spending this time with us; we appreciate it. We’re looking forward to our topic today: Millennials in the Workplace and Within Ministry. So, Mark, you’re pretty much an expert at this. You’ve been at this for over 21 years. Talk to us about some of the trends you’ve seen over that time.

Mark: Well, thanks Jack for allowing me to be here with you guys. You know, millennials are very unique and I think of them in a couple different ways, the first one is as staff members. One of the things that we’ve noticed with our millennials is: they have more options, which has led them to less commitment. So they have a ton of different options, and so, often times we only get them for a summer or maybe even less and so that’s one of the big things we’ve seen. But, the positive in that, is as a whole we have seen our staff be more eager for leadership and opportunity and development. They love to learn and so when you can get them locked in, it’s been a really good fit for us.

Also, millennials – as with in families – they’re much more involved and then they’re also, they’re much more involved. And what I mean by that is, there is a “helicopter generation” out there; the millennials are much more connected to their families for a longer period of time. One of the things we talk about is: “26 is the new 18.” A lot of the things that a lot of kids knew when they were 18, these guys are not really challenged to know until much later. So, often times they go to college and then they’ll come back and even be with their families for a longer period of time. But, they’re also much more involved. Meaning that when we get them involved with us, they’re very loyal to what we do, especially if they can see the cause of what you’re being a part of. So, if they really believe in the cause, they’re willing to kind of “stick it out” with you and be loyal.

And then the final one that I was thinking about, is, trends (as far as millennials) is as campers. We’re almost into the Generation Z and this is very similar for both of these, but they’re very very busy. They tend to come to camp older, so they’re doing a lot of things. They tend to be very focused on stuff, so you’ll get a kid who you’ll ask and you’ll say, “Hey, what are the things you’re doing this summer?” And they’re like, “Well, this is my fourth camp I’m doing; I did a football camp and a soccer camp….” So, they’re very, very busy. But they’re also, Jack, they’re willing to try more. When you get them to this age, they love to try new things, especially stuff that their peers are doing. And you know, that may not be unique to the millennials and the Z’s, but it’s something that we’ve noticed in our ministry.

Jack: Mark, we have talked about this before, but talk about the importance of leadership, the actual role of leadership, and what they’re [millennials] looking for.

Mark: Yeah, in this time, they have a great expectation to get leadership much earlier than previous generations. And so, if you’re not willing to… I think there was a real wrong… and I’m not here to debunk every negative thing about millennials… but I think that there was really, for awhile, a sense that people didn’t want to employ (“they’re too demanding” or “they’re entitled” – those kinds of things), and what we found was they just have an expectation that they want their voices to be heard at a much earlier time. Often times, they’re not expecting you to do exactly, but they would like the chance to be able to contribute much earlier. And, we’ve seen that has been awesome! One of the things we do, Jack, is we put them in leadership at a pretty young age: in their mid-twenties. We have a chance to really plug them into some really serious leadership; and they take it very seriously, and they really grow. Sometimes I think, you know, in my generation, you had to kind of earn that, you kind of had to prove it. Well, we’re finding that a lot of times they prove it by being given it. They may not even look like they can- sometimes we send folks out and we’re a little nervous. But, they really, we’ve found that within a couple days, they really take it seriously. So, it’s almost like they have to have it before they kind of step into it. So, it’s an interesting trend.

Jack: Yeah, that makes sense. Well, we’ve just put up our “No Know Grow” model in determining spiritual needs; it’s really the core ministry model of Eagle Lake. As you looked at that Mark, as we’ve developed this thing, can you talk us through that: the significance of each one of these words and the process as we train our staff to go through it.

Mark: As we’ve talked about, one of the things with this millennial generation is, they like to have good road maps. They like to know. And so, we laid this out a few years ago with the idea that this would be a skeleton that they could work off of. And so, at the top of the model is a person, and we say that person has to have “a heart for God and a heart for People.” And that’s really important to us. Because, if they just have a heart for God, they tend to be very focused on knowledge acquisition. They tend to be in their Bibles. That’s great! But, they also have to have a heart for seeing the next generation of discipleship- they need to see that. And most people have it in them, Jack, you gotta kind of awaken those things. It may be that they may be a “people person” and you have to help them to understand how to have that “heart for God.” But, once we find that balanced person, really – the core ministry model of Eagle Lake and really the core ministry model of the idea of The Apprentice Approach is: the one-to-one ministry. And it’s that “life-on-life ministry.” So, we then broke it down to just three steps here. And the first one is: to ask good, not just good questions, but good relationship-driven questions. So, we don’t just want to sit down and say, “Hey, how’s the weather? How ya…” But, we really wanted to try to get a little bit deeper in and allow them a chance to really talk with us.

Out of that, brings us to the second step – and it’s this model that you see, this chart that you see. You’re going to find out by asking those relationship-driven questions one of three things: the first one is “NO,” and we find out that they don’t know Jesus, it’s just very evident that they’re illiterate in that. They just don’t have that understanding of what it is to have a relationship with Christ, and so that’s the first one. And if you see on the chart there, one of the things that we want to do then for our counselors is we want to be able to share our testimony and how Christ has changed our lives and then also the Bridge illustration. There’s a lot of ways to share the Gospel; it’s just the one we teach, so that we know that our staff knows an effective way to share the Gospel. The second one that you may determine is “KNOW.” They know of Jesus. They may even believe in Jesus, but you can tell that no one has challenged them to go any deeper than maybe that commitment that they made to Christ- maybe it was at a retreat, maybe it was at a summer camp, something like that. But obviously, that soil is ready to really be tended to, and so, then we put some of these really clear spiritual disciplines in there: quiet times- teaching kids how to have a quiet time, and sometimes it’s not just kids, sometimes it’s adults- teaching them how to pray, and then also teaching them Scripture memory. You know, the Bible is so clear about hiding the Word of God in our hearts; and, that is so important in this generation and this time – with everything from our phones and technology and everything – we need to have the Word hidden in our hearts. And so, that’s a big discipline that really is lacking. People say, you know, “Oh, I got my Bible.” Or, “I got my Church, or whatever,” but, it’s really important that people can reference that. One of the common things we hear, Jack, and I know you hear this a lot is, “Well, I know the Bible says…” Well, that’s really (in a generation that technology is so easily acceptable), that’s not a good excuse. That doesn’t defend the way we want to defend the Gospel. And, the final one is “GROW.” (Jack: Part of that is: as long as they have a signal, right?) That’s exactly right. You know, I was actually out in the mountains yesterday and lost a signal, but not the Word that’s hidden in my heart. So, the final one is “GROW,” and this is when we see a kid that is growing in their relationship (or someone that we’re discipling that is growing in their relationship). And so, then we have three other things: The Hand, which is more of an illustration that works on the depth of knowledge; The Wheel, which is The Navigator Wheel, it’s the “Obedient Christian…” so what things make up that, you can begin to deal with fellowship, witnessing, prayer, and the Word. And then, Evangelism: we want to actually teach kids, “How do I share my own faith with someone?” Or, the guy I’m discipling, I want to teach him, “Hey, what are the opportunities you might have to share your faith?” And so, that’s where we’ve built this model. And then the final thing which often times is the most important thing we do is that we pray at the end. We want to just solidify that time and we want to set that time apart and really encourage one another. And, we’ve just found those relationship-driven questions, determining where the spiritual needs is, and then praying – this is a model that we use at Eagle Lake. But, it really transfers into any discipleship situation.

Jack: That’s good, Mark, that’s very helpful. Why is it important in your model, the ministry model with Eagle Lake, why is “one-on-one relationships” so important, especially as we think about trying to be with every camper in that way?

Mark: Well Jack, we have found that there’s simply nothing else that we do that is as effective as spending time with a person. Deep rooted in every one of us is a desire to be known, and that doesn’t matter whether you’re eight years old or eighty years old. And, we’ve just found it tried and true. You know, we’ve tried all the other things: we’ve tried fun stuff; we’ve tried great meals; we’ve tried all those things. But, the thing that we’ve found that’s tested over many, many years of not just Eagle Lake ministry, but The Navigator ministry, is that life-on-life, that one-to-one. And, when you stop for a minute and you sit with a person and you ask them about them and you listen, it’s amazing. Sometimes it’s awkward, Jack, to be honest with kids especially. You say, “We’re gonna go for a canoe ride,” or whatever, and you might say, “Well, tell me about your home,” and it takes a little time. Sometimes you gotta be okay with a little bit of silence. But given that opportunity, we’ve just found that kids love to talk – and people really love to talk – about their experiences. So, that one-to-one allows somebody that listens but then also can comment on some of those things. And, we’ve just found that that is so, so valuable. It’s really fun because it really is the core of what we do. But, we find that our counselors, it becomes so addicting that they want to get more than just one one-on-one in a week or whatever, and it’s really fun. And, I think we’ve also found that in discipleship is, when you can sit down with somebody, you get to see them grow. You get to see their growth in that one-to-one and it takes the rest of the noise away. You know, there’s great churches out there. There’s great Bible studies out there; but, this is when I get to deal in that safe environment. As that trust grows, I get to go deeper and deeper with a person.

Jack: That’s good. Let’s get back to talking about these millennials. You know it’s a “hot topic” right now as they’re really the driving force in workplace situations, and in ministry, and even in our culture. You’re into your fifth class of the Emerging Leader Program. Talk to us a little about that.

Mark: Well, the Emerging Leader Program was something that we developed a couple years ago. We saw that a lot of the graduates, obviously being in ministry that we do, we had a lot of college-aged kids and we were watching them progress. And a lot of the grads, in fact, most of the grads were not getting jobs in their fields. And so, we started to ask questions about that and we found that, for a lot of companies, they had a lack of experience. And, even their internships weren’t the kind of experience- those were really protected experiences. And so that’s great; everybody has an internship. And so we developed this program to bring them into what we do. And, we have a unique situation because we’re a ministry, but we’re also a business. So, we’re measured by a bottom line and we’ve got vendors and we have all sorts of stuff. So, we developed a program in which we could bring them in and we could give them real leadership and we could really teach them some things, basic business: how do you read a balance sheet; how do you interview somebody? And what we found, after the first class graduated, that once people clicked in, these graduates of this program had a lot of the things that people were looking for in their businesses. It was really valuable to the student but also to the workplace. You know, there’s a lot of negative stuff about millennials; but, we’ve experienced that in every generation: there’s the goods and the bads. And this generation, I think a lot of people just don’t understand. And so, a couple things that have really impacted our culture here, is these guys bring a ton of energy across our properties; they bring a ton of great energy. But, it’s interesting, Jack, our leaders have to be in a developmental mindset, because this group really wants to learn and they want to learn quick. So, the supervisors have to be willing to accept those questions, whereas my generation, we were a lot more patient. It was kind of that you were shooting for the corner office, but you never thought you were going to get there before your 50’s or later. These guys have the expectation they want to see that happen much quicker. And so, we’ve learned that they’re willing to jump in and try; but, you have to be in that developmental mindset where you can sit down. Because, that also brings me to one of the things that they hate the most, and that’s failure. Jack, this generation absolutely hates to look bad and fail. Competency is their greatest value. We spend a lot of time telling them, “Look, if you want to be successful, you gotta fail. You’ve got to take some risks.”

This was interesting as well, Jack, to be very honest with you, we asked the first two classes when they were done, “What were the two greatest things about your experience with us as an ELPer, as an Emerging Leader?” The first one, not really that surprising to all of us, they said that, “You gave us real leadership.” We sent a 25-year old out on the road with 20 staff members and $150,000 worth of equipment and full responsibility. They felt the burden. And a lot of them, you could see the panic as they were driving away; and yet, they came back and they really felt that they had grown and they were able to deal with those things.

The second one was incredibly surprising, and in fact they didn’t even want to say this to me. They didn’t want to tell me that this was the second greatest thing about the program; but, these ELPers have to fundraise all of their money to be with us for two years- this is a ministry and they fundraise this stuff. They said, “We hated it at the beginning but what God did through our faith in this, we wouldn’t have traded it for anything.” So, it was one of those situations where, it was like a lot of them were like, “No, we don’t want to fundraise,” but then, in the end, they were like, “No, to watch people want to support us, to learn that skill of how to sell ourselves and what we were doing and clearly communicate…”they said: hands-down, the leadership and the building of faith through fundraising were the two greatest things about the program. And they continue to say that year after year.

Jack: Yeah. You know, it is interesting how some of these young men and women have been protected and not ever had to be challenged in, like, fundraising before, and when they set out to do something and they see God working in a pretty significant way, that tends to be a highlight.

Mark: Absolutely!

Jack: And so, it really is a fun way to see, as these young men and women take a step of faith, how God really honors and blesses that. That’s really good! Well, what are some other challenges you think this generation really faces?

Mark: Well you know, when we look at mentorship and discipleship for this generation, I think that they come in a little different. They’re a little more confident, some people would call it “cocky;” but, what I have found, Jack, is they really value wisdom. They like people who have been there, done that; they like when you take time… you know, this model we were talking about with this one-to-one. But, they also need to trust that wisdom, and that takes a little bit of time. I think, again my generation, if you had the stripes on your coat, man you put your time in, you could tell me anything. This group’s a little more tentative and that’s because there’s so much information available to them that they want to know that this is something that they can trust. They want to know that they can trust you. So, it takes a little bit of time. But, they really do value it and we’ve seen that over time. You know, they face a huge challenge in technology- both good and bad. Technology has created for them some really good ways to connect with each other; but, it’s also created a false sense of community in some cases. The Facebook Generation – some of the Instagrams and stuff – they struggle at times in relationship because they look at these digital relationships as real and then they get into a real situation and it’s not as easy as just typing a few letters or things like that. But, they also, they stay closer connected with those people because of that technology; and so they have very, very tight pod and friend groups that are very supportive of each other. When they’re working  – a little text here, a little text there, an encouragement here… you don’t need to grab the phone anymore. They can get with each other, they can even show each other their stuff. So, they’ve got some deep, deep relationships with one another through the technology. And then also, the strengths of this generation, they are hardworking… if they believe in what they’re doing. You have to shape things a little bit different. And, I think we have to hold them with an open hand. If it’s a wrong fit, I would be more prone to get rid of a millennial much quicker, if it’s a wrong fit, than someone that’s say a Boomer or, you know, a Gen Xer. Because, those two generations were more the: “You gotta put your time in, and just you know here.” This group of people, if they don’t believe in it, they’re not going to function real well in it for a long period of time. Now, that doesn’t mean, Jack, and you’re so good at this – is casting vision for them sometimes. I think in work, they have to see a larger vision; and so, I don’t care if it’s working at Subway or working for the government, they have to see the bigger vision and you have to be able to cast that a little bit larger. Because, they are hardworking- once they believe in what they’re doing – they get their noses down, they get in there, so you can continue. They’re also a very smart generation, but like I said before, Jack, they fear failure. They don’t take the risks that other generations have.

Jack: You know it’s interesting listening to you, Mark, about the passion, yet it has to be driven towards a purpose. How do you keep the “why” in front of them? What do you do to activate that passion in a way that keeps them going and motivated?

Mark: Well, Jack, one of the important things that we did a couple years ago, I think everybody’s got a mission statement, but not a lot of companies (many do, many don’t) have Core Values. And, we really say: they’re not just something that sticks up on the wall, they are our personality. And so, now as we get our ELPers, and if we’re interviewing somebody, we pull these out and we simply say, “This is who we are. You don’t have to worry that we’re going to be somebody different. Ten years from now, this is who we’re going to be.” And, by giving them that clear foundation to stand on, now they can look at those things and they can say, “Do I believe in this company and what they believe in?” Because, everything’s going to function out of that: our decisions are going to be functioned out of that, our hiring, our firing, how we choose to do our business is going to function out of that. And as soon as they can see that and align with it, again, you’ve got them. But, when those are fuzzy and they kind of think they know and then they get in and they find out that that’s not really… or your culture doesn’t reflect the things on the wall… they very quickly will figure out. And, Jack, we also have to realize, they’re young. They’re in their twenties maybe a little bit into their thirties. To expect that they’re going to know exactly what they want to do for the next forty years- that’s just not this generation. And, I think that disappoints- especially the Boomer Generation who got a job and it was like, “I’m starting my 40-60 years in this role.” That’s not how they look at it. They want to test a little bit. They’re kind of buffet people: “I’m gonna try a little bit of this and try a little bit of that.” And again, that’s ok. We’ve had some great millennials who have left for a season and then come back. They’ve come back wiser and they’ve come back more focused on: “You know what, I didn’t think this was what I wanted, but I got away from it and I came back and I know it’s what I want now.” And that’s been great.

Jack: Yeah, boy that’s good. Other insights? Anything else?

Mark: You know, I think that the last thing I’d love to say about the millennials is, is that there’s been a lot of concern… “Where’s our country going?” and all that. But, I thought about this and I’ve had to think about this because we employ so many millennials. But, every generation is criticized when they’re young. You think about the 60’s, you think about the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s, the 2000’s, everyone thought that, “Oh geesh, the world’s gonna end,” “How can it be the hippies?” or “those guys in the 80’s,” or worse yet, “the rap generation,” or the 90’s, whatever…” I’m just not seeing that; and, there’s a lot of hope as we continue to invest. You just have to learn to figure out how to reach them. And it is different, they’re a different generation. We shouldn’t expect them to be reached the same way we were. So, that’s a big, big insight. It’s meant that we’ve had to look at some of the ways we’ve done stuff and we’ve had to challenge ourselves with that. Say, you know, our working environments are much different- they’re a little different in the working environments and things like that. You know, there’s a lot of great research out there, there’s a lot of great stuff that has been done and I would challenge anyone who is employing one millennial to a hundred, to do your research and figure this out. And then, best yet, ask them (Jack: Yeah, that’s good!). Again, just asking them doesn’t mean you’re going to do everything that they say, but what we have found is them saying, “Hey could we have a little bit more flexibility in our work schedule?” Yeah, we can actually do that. “Hey, could we do this?” “Yeah, you know…” or “Hey, could we do that?” “No, probably not, but we can do this…” And they really respond to that, because they see that they are actually helping to make change.

Jack: Yeah. Boy! That’s good. That is really good. Well, we could go on and on, and this may bring up questions for another podcast; but, I hope you’ve enjoyed being with Mark here, and I am excited to see all the things that God is doing through Eagle Lake and through the staff there. It’s been a pretty spectacular time these last couple months seeing God do so many things. So, Mark, thanks again for taking the time, being with us, and we’ll look forward to our next venture with you soon to come.

Mark: Thank you Jack.

Jack: We’ve learned that what makes different generations unique can offer an incredible opportunity (rather than barrier) to minister to people in new ways through discipleship.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and learning community and feel encouraged and better equipped! For more on Eagle Lake Camps and the work and leadership Mark is a part of, visit Eaglelakecamps.com. And, for more on The Apprentice Approach, including resources, our blog, and to sign up for weekly emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org , and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

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007 Personal Attentiveness: Where Evangelism and Discipleship Meet

Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 7, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples, they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking.

Today we will be speaking with Scott Morton, the International Funding Coach for The Navigators. For fourteen years, he led Navigator campus and marketplace ministries, in which he worked with students, business people, and missionaries, both stateside and overseas. For 12 years, he served as Vice President of The Navigators’ US Development Ministry. Scott is a published author of three books, including Down-to-Earth Discipling which is on our The Apprentice Approach Necessary Bookshelf list. All of this experience has given Scott a passion for walking alongside people as they grow in their spiritual journeys. Scott is a long-time friend of mine and I’m happy to share our conversation with you! So without further delay, let’s jump in!

Jack: Scott, thank you for taking the time being with us and I’ve always been intrigued by not only your full-time job, but also your personal ministry that you’ve had. You’ve always talked about/modeled a personal ministry, besides having this full-time job; how did you get started with that, Scott?

Scott: Well thank you, Jack. Sometimes by accident. A lot of believers today really want to have a personal ministry, they like to reach people with the Gospel and disciple them, but they run out of time. I get it, I get it. So, I think the first thing I would suggest is two words and the words are: personal attentiveness. Personal attentiveness. Now, this seems like a simple thing, and it is, but let me tell you a story.

Back in 1855 there was a Sunday School teacher in Boston and this guy was an introvert, but he taught a class of young single men. He had it on his heart to go and see each of them personally because even though they’d been to Church and been in the class he wanted to personally talk to them about where they stood with the Lord. So, one day he describes going down to Holton’s Shoe Store in Boston to go see this one guy in his Sunday school class. And he was so nervous, he walked right past Holton’s Shoe Store and then collected himself and said, “Well I may as well get it over with.” And he charged in, found the young clerk in the back wrapping up shoes, putting them on shelves. And he approached the young man and wanted to talk to him about his personal relationship with Christ and he said, afterward, it was quite a weak plea. He couldn’t even remember the exact words he’d used, but this young man listened to him and he was worried that other shoe salesman and other customers might see them in the back of the room, but anyway this young guy accepted Christ that very day. Now, the man’s name, the Sunday school teacher’s name, was Edward Kimball, and we’ve never heard of him, we don’t know him, but we do know the young shoe salesman that he talked to: Dwight L. Moody. Now, Dwight L. Moody then was instrumental in a guy named Chapman coming to Christ, Wilbert Chapman led Billy Sunday to Christ in one of his Crusades, Billy Sunday led Mordecai Ham to Christ in one of his crusades, and Mordecai Ham, the evangelist, spoke when Billy Graham accepted Christ. So, we know some of those names, but we don’t know the name Edward Kimball, the introvert. Edward Kimball’s my hero; we need more Edward Kimballs – people who will take time to personally be attentive to just that one person and talk to them about their relationship with Christ. So I think the first thing, Jack, is personal attentiveness. So think of your world: in your business, you’ve got vendors that come in and out, you’ve got fellow colleagues that you’re working with, family members, some distant and some close, but give them some personal attentiveness. Take time to listen to them, talk to them, now that means that you gotta stop talking and you gotta listen and ask questions. The other thing I do, then, and I wish I could say I was better at this Jack, but I’ve got my daily journal here, and by the way I think it’s good to keep a journal. You don’t need to write in it every day, but just write in it every now and then. But I have, on the second page, these friends- my neighbors, so I’ve got some guys down here and I put their wives names down as well, and these are people that I try to pray for every day; I just bring them before the Lord. I say, Lord, touch their lives, because the old saying is true, we have to talk to God about people before we talk to people about God. So, let’s get them on our prayer lists and let’s start praying for them as often as we can. So, personal attentiveness leads to putting these names down in our journal and that includes family as well.

Jack: Well, in light of the personal attentiveness, in this day and age that is really unique; you don’t really see it that often.

Scott: No, people are in a hurry.

Jack: What are some ways that we can actually do that practically, Scott?

Scott: Well, for example, a vendor comes into your business; he comes in every month and delivers stuff. Instead of just hurrying him off and getting his invoice and letting it go, just take him aside and say, “By the way, how you doing? I don’t know you very well. Tell me how long you been in this business? Tell me about your family.” People are busy, but they’ve got time, if someone is seriously interested in them. The best conversations in the world, so the old saying goes, “is someone who lets me talk about me.” So engage them. Sooner or later that will lead to you say, “Hey, why don’t we grab lunch together? It’s almost time for lunch.” So, I think just taking time to be interested and to talk. If you have in the back of your mind, you’ve gotta spring the Gospel on them in the first twenty minutes, then it’s not going to work. And they’ll smell it out anyway. Just be their friend.

Jack: Always be prepared with good questions. That’s good, Scott. Well, a lot of our friends, listeners, and friends/believers, you know it’s scary to think about evangelism and about talking to someone about spiritual things. How would one get started with that?

Scott: Well, I’m scared too, Jack. I get sweaty palms every time I say, “Hey let’s go out to lunch.” But a lot of people are like the Yukon river in Alaska- frozen at the mouth. We don’t know what to say, but let’s take the emphasis off: “What do I have to say?” To my heart: “I care about this person.” And, that’s extrovert or introvert. So, what does evangelism look like for an ordinary believer today? Well, I think we have to realize first of all that evangelism is a process, not an event, and I like imagining if you think of the diagram of a link and a chain. So, we’ve got all these chain links together; so you put down a link in a chain. Maybe someone hears a Billy Graham re-run on television- that’s a link; maybe his grandmother mentions that she’d like to take him to church- that’s a link; maybe he sees something in a friend that he just likes and wonders what church they attend- that’s a link; and so, all these links add up and then at the end of maybe 10 or 12 links, put a Cross- he comes to Christ. And then the links start over again on growing in Christ. So, I really believe that the emphasis on evangelism, we can overcome our fear of it, if we think: I’m a link in a chain. Now, 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 Paul says, “I planted, Apollos watered, God gave the increase.” So, Jack, if we think of ourselves as links in a chain… I’m going to touch a life today with something- that adds up. So the vendor guy, you just took 5 minutes to talk to him, ask how long he’s been, or about his family- that’s a link in a chain. Because the Good News of Christ oozes out of us; there’s a smell that Christians have, according to 2 Corinthians 2, that says this smell penetrates. And, you don’t even have to be having a good day and this smell still goes out- the smell of Christ.

Jack: Yeah, that’s good. We don’t need to dump the truck but we can share a fresh word, an encouraging word, ask good questions.

Scott: And it doesn’t even have to be about spiritual things. Just taking a genuine interest, and sometimes if a person is hurting you can say, “You know, I’m gonna pray for you; I’m gonna pray for you on that, thanks for telling me that.”

Jack: What are some good ways to start a spiritual conversation with a friend?

Scott: You know, I’m not very sophisticated about it, Jack. So after I’ve started getting acquainted with someone, I’ll just say, “By the way, you told me all about your business life and your family, may I ask, what’s your spiritual background, were you raised in a church?” Or just, “Tell me about that.” And I find people are not unwilling to talk about it if they feel safe; if they feel like they are going to get jumped on, then they won’t say anything. You could then at that point say, “Well let me tell you, I can identify with something you had in your background, let me tell you about mine.” Now, this is not the time for a 60-minute Gospel presentation. This is just maybe a 3-5 minute talk about your spiritual journey. Now, I’ve made the mistake, Jack, of coming on too strong too fast. And, there was one guy I gave a tour of Glen Eyrie here and I dumped the whole truck on him and when I called him again, he never returned my calls after 6 or 7 tries. I was too fast. I’ve also been too slow. I’d wait 4 or 5 years before I even identify as a Christian. So there’s no formula for how to do this, but I think the best thing is just say, “Tell me, what’s your spiritual background?”

Jack: Well, it is interesting, as we take an interest in others, what God does in the midst of that, and as we pray and ask God to bless our time, it sure seems like others are really drawn to that because no one else is asking questions like that, that’s for sure.

Scott: That’s for sure.

Jack: And it seems like people are spiritually interested.

Scott: But, we have to do more than talk about God. I was on a Skype yesterday with one of our staff members across the world. I said, “How’s so-and-so doing?” and he said, “Well he’s doing fine on his fundraising.” But I said, “Well, how’s his ministry?” “Well…” “Does anybody come to Christ?” “Well, not really, but he talks about God a lot.” So, just talking about God, or being “spiritual” is not going to do it. We have to ask the question sooner or later about Christ. (Jack: Right.) Paul said in 1 Corinthians, “We preach Christ and him crucified,” and there’s the danger. So, I find after I ask about a person’s spiritual background, and if they seem interested and they like to talk about it, maybe the next time we get together I might say, “You know one of the things I like to do is to read the Bible with business guys and just learn about Christ; I need to know more about Christ, I sense from what you’ve said you’d like to know more about Christ. Let’s do it together. Every couple weeks maybe we could get together for breakfast and just read about Jesus, a chapter. And that is a risk, and that’s sweaty palms time Jack, because at that point they could say, “Are you kidding me?” and that’s it. But, most of the time I’ve done that, people have taken me up on that; but it’s a scary question to ask.

Jack: Yeah. What are you learning Scott, as it relates to moving from evangelism and connecting that, as you introduced your friends to Christ, moving them along into discipleship? Because we’d like to see some of that happen very naturally, the relationship continues. What are you learning about connecting and continuing this relationship on?

Scott: Well, again, I don’t think there’s a formula there, because if your friendship is becoming genuine in the early days, even from that first meeting on, then continuing on is a no-brainer. Of course, we continue on, because we’ve enjoyed a friendship. Now, I’m not talking they have to be your best friend, but just someone you enjoy and they seem to enjoy you, so you just continue on. So, you’re talking about Christ, they might come to Christ and they might not, but you just plan on continuing.

Jack, there’s a couple things that might be helpful here as to what are some things we need to watch for in connecting with non-believers. Now, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that because it’s one-on-one, that I’ve only got one person that I’m doing one-on-one with. (Jack: Right.) You could do one-on-one with a person for seven years and then after seven years, he says, “See ya!” So, I think we do one-on-one with lots of friends simultaneously. There’s one guy I haven’t met within six months; but, he’s still on my prayer list and when he calls, we’ll get together. So, we’re doing this with a lot of people, but here’s a couple of guidelines, and number one is: associate with nonbelievers. We believers tend to be pretty good at isolating ourselves so that we’ve got a Christian car mechanic, a Christian plumber, a Christian hairdresser… let’s find some non-believing friends. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 is overlooked, and Paul says, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with covetous or swindlers or idolaters, for then you’d have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother, if he is immoral.” So, Paul here is advocating, “Hey! Be with non-believers!” not the immoral non-believers, but non-believers who are searching… just normal people. So, associate with non-believers. I think that is really key and Jesus was criticized for that: Luke 15:2, “This man eats with sinners.” I’d like that on my tombstone Jack, “Here lies Scott Morton, ate with sinners.”

So that’s number one and number two is: your life witness is not enough, there’s got to be words. Now, maybe you’ve heard the saying, it’s quite popular now: “Share the Gospel and if necessary, use words.” That’s going around and it’s attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, although there’s no record he actually said it, but that’s who gets the credit. I’ve thought about that and it’s very true: we must have credibility with non-believers; our life must speak of Christ before our words. If all we have is words and no life, that’s going nowhere. But I asked LeRoy Eims, a Navigator pioneer, years ago before he died, I said, “LeRoy what about this?” And Leroy was an evangelist. He seemed fearless in front of people; but, he was just like us. “What about this LeRoy? Is it life only, or is it ‘preach the Gospel and if necessary use words?’ What about that?” He said, “Well, words will be necessary.” And, Jack, thinking of how I came to Christ- words had to be. It takes more than just the life witness, but the life witness is key.

And then the third thing is: share the Gospel, not the baggage. Now, this is a mistake we all make, and it’s easy to make. We want people to start attending our church, speak up about abortion, speak up about pornography, join our political party… those things are great causes but they’re not the Gospel. We need to stick with the Gospel: Christ and Him crucified. Okay, so that’s a couple of… our lives ought to look like that, as we relate to non-believers.

Jack: Yeah, keeping the main thing the main thing.

Scott: Yup, that’s right.

Jack: Well I appreciate that, Scott. You know as you’re with people in an intentional way, how do you know… what are some ways that you have a sense that, “Hey, I’m really helping. I’m making a difference.”

Scott: I don’t know that I always know that, and sometimes when I think I have made a difference, not much happened; and then sometimes when I think I didn’t make a difference, God did great things. I think we have to assume that if we are with someone and we are engaging in friendship and sharing the Bible, that some good is going to come out of it. “God’s Word does not return void,” it says in Isaiah. So when I meet with someone, Jack, I have a few guidelines after to evaluate that – ok, I had an hour with them, what do I look for in that meeting? And one of the things I look for is, did we open the Bible together? Even with a non-believer, because the Bible’s words are going to be stronger. You know that famous verse in Hebrews: for the word of Scott is quick and powerful? (Jack and Scott both laugh). “The Word of GOD is quick and powerful!” I remember one time I was with a returning missionary who’d had a tough time overseas and he was discouraged, he came to Minneapolis and I met him at the airport and he was down. So I took him to a really nice restaurant- White Castle- and we had about four hours together, Jack, and I was giving him all my wisdom and listening and asking questions and sharing stuff; and finally, at the end I said, “Is there anything I’ve said that’s been of any value at all?” He said, “Well not really, no; but, there was that one verse you shared- what was that again?” And Jack, I’m ashamed to say for four hours I shared only one verse of Scripture and that’s what he wanted to stick to! So, I look for: have we opened the Bible? Secondly: did I listen? One time, I was with a guy and I talked for an hour and then he said, “Oh I gotta go.” And I said, “What can I pray for you?” He said, “Well, my Dad’s in the hospital.” I missed it; I could have picked that up at the beginning of the hour. I missed it. Listen. So share the Word, listen. I think another one that I like is: did we laugh together? I don’t have a Bible verse on that particularly, but if we laugh together, then I know that there’s some bonding going on. And number four: did I meet a felt need? Did I talk to some area where he would (be met), or did I just do stuff I wanted to talk about? And then, finally: did we pray together? Maybe not every time, and sometimes it’s not appropriate. With non-believers, I don’t usually pray together. But, sometimes I’ll just walk them out to the car and put my hand around their shoulder and say, “Just before you go, let me have a…” and when I say “pray,” I mean… a “quick prayer,” I don’t mean an hour prayer; it’s maybe twenty seconds.

Jack: Well that’s good. Before you go into these, I think that’s a great way to enter out. Boy! Even in developing that relationship, in all of our relationships, we ought to be asking some of those questions as well. But Scott, help our listeners understand, before you go into a time like this, what goes on in your mind? What do you pray before you get started- you know, as you’re in the car, you turn the ignition off and you’re ready to walk into a restaurant or you’re ready to engage- talk to us about what you pray?

Scott: Well, you’re assuming I do pray, thank you. (Laughter from both) Jack, sometimes in the busyness of life, I’m on my way to the meeting late, as per usual, dodging traffic, giving the angry horn to the pastor’s wife who’s just ahead of me, now I gotta switch churches. Yeah, I confess I’m not there, but I try to, before I enter that meeting, say, “Lord, I am exhausted, I’m tired, I didn’t really work this outright, but I have an idea of what I should share today. Would you put your hand on it? Would you give me wisdom and would you give me courage?” Wisdom to know what to do, courage to have the guts to do it by His grace. And so, I confess I often walk in and I feel unprepared, but I almost wonder if that’s normal; because sometimes, when I’ve done a thorough job of preparation, I’ve prepared for the wrong topic. Now, I’m not saying don’t prepare; let’s prepare. I’ve got my topics in mind, but I think we have to go in being pretty flexible. So I’ve got an idea. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a verse. I’ve got an illustration that I want to share; but, I try to be flexible for the need of the moment.

Jack: That’s great, that’s great. And it really does demonstrate our dependence on him. (Scott: Absolutely.) Because He is going to. Who knows where things are going to land, what they’re struggling with, where they’re at so…

Scott: Well, there are half a dozen or so topics that I really want to talk about. Maybe we can talk about that another time, Jack, with developing a fifty-minute way of passing on a life message that you have. So there are some specific topics we need to cover with people, so I’m ready with those.

Jack: Good!

Scott: But, I’m not always sure which one is appropriate at the time.

Jack: Yeah. That’s good. Wow! Well, we’ve already carved out another podcast just sitting here on the first one with Scott Morton! But boy, Scott, thank you so much for being here with us today and challenging us. I don’t know about our listening audience, but just being here with you today, in terms of engaging relationally with folks who don’t know you, it’s been a real challenge for me. So, thank you for taking the time to do this.

Scott: Thank you. And let me just end with this, Jack, that discipling others and evangelism is not a formula and there are times when you will just be heartsick because the person you were going to meet didn’t show up, or they didn’t seem responsive, or they don’t call you back. That’s normal; don’t be discouraged, keep going. God will give you people as you are ready to share your life with them.

Jack: Amen, Amen. Well you’ll hear and you’ll see in our notes, Scott’s book on Down to Earth Discipling we’ll make that available for you to get a glimpse of and figure out where you can order it, so we’ll be able to do that on the show notes as well. But thank you, Scott, again for the time and we look forward to our next episode.

Scott: Alright, Jack. Me too!

Jack: Well today we’ve learned that a vital part of the discipleship process comes with the on-going process of evangelism, not just a one-time event. This process hinges on intentional relationships with believers and non-believers alike.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and feel encouraged and equipped! For more on Scott you can visit his website at Scottmorton.net And for more from The Apprentice Approach, including resources, our blog, and to sign up for weekly emails, visit our website TheApprenticeApproach.org, and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast in iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host, Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

Click Here for more on Scott’s book Down-to-Earth Discipling

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006 Making Disciples vs. Making Disciplemakers

Transcription:

Welcome to the Apprentice Approach Podcast Episode 6, where the ripples far exceed the splash… this is your host Jack McQueeney.

Many Christians struggle with making disciples, they feel busy, overwhelmed, and not qualified. We understand this struggle, which is why we’ve created a Bible-based framework so any believer can master the art of disciplemaking,

In this segment, we will be speaking with Dr. Max Barnett, a professor, disciplemaker, and authority when it comes to campus ministry and reaching 20-somethings. He has spent over 37 years leading campus ministry at Oklahoma University, which was recently recognized by the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for producing more IMB missionaries than any other state school in America. He shares some amazing lessons with us from intentionally focusing on disciplemaking with college students for the last 50 years. Not only does he teach it, but he models it by producing generations of disciplemakers and missionaries.

Jack: Well, we’re back! Jack McQueeney here with Max Barnett and we’re gonna jump right into our questions for Max. Max, let’s start with: Why make disciples? Why should we give ourselves to making disciples?

Max: Well, the last two things we know that Jesus said on earth are recorded in Acts 1:8, “And you’ll receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, and to the outermost parts of the earth.”

And then in Matthew 28- many people when they talk about the Great Commission start with verse 18- I like to back up to verse 16. There were eleven men there and he told those eleven men, “You are to go into all the world, make disciples of all the nations,” and he said, “You’re to baptize them and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you, lo I am with you always…” Now eleven men were told to go to all the nations – how are eleven men going to go to all the nations? They had to multiply. And it’s interesting to see what was on Jesus’ heart: “to the utmost part of the earth” and “to all the nations.” So, if we’re going to be obedient to Jesus, it is obvious what was on his heart and that’s what we are commissioned to do. The one mandate in that verse is to “make disciples.” The “going,” the “teaching,” the “baptizing,” are verbal phrases- that’s basically the way we do it. But, the mandate is “to go make disciples.” So, that is what Jesus told us to do.

Jack: That’s great Max. I know you’ve written some booklets* and we’re going to refer to these in the show notes, so be sure to take a look at that if you have any questions, but Max, you wrote a little book on how to have a multiplying ministry. So, as you think about that spiritual multiplication and pursuing disciplemaking, how has that changed in your mind from making disciples… then multiplying through disciples? How has that changed over the years for you?

Max: Well, you know, I think still we have more technology and all that today, but if you’re going to make disciples you have to build deeply, I think, into the life of the person. And, always with the idea of passing it on. You know, you see in 1 Thessalonians, where Paul is basically just giving a testimony, and he said, the first thing he mentioned was evangelism and that all has to be part of what we’re doing. You don’t separate evangelism from discipleship. You don’t want to just become a little “holy club” over here- which has been a criticism sometimes of discipleship. But Paul says, “You know what kind of men we prove to be among you for your sake,” and then he says, “Our Gospel didn’t come to you in Word only but also in power in the Holy Spirit with full conviction.” And he said, “You know what kind of men we prove to be among you for your sake.” So he talks about beginning with evangelism and then we set the example. In the next verse, it says, “And you became followers of us and not of the Lord.” And so it’s very simple, I think. When it really gets down to disciplemaking, I’m not saying there’s not hard things and you have to deal with individuals and their situations; but, what you’re trying to do is see people first of all make sure they know the Lord and then you set the example. If you want them to pray, you pray; if you want them to memorize verses, you memorize verses, and that whole thing. And, we see again and again how Paul would say, “First brethren, be followers of me and then I will guide you to Christ.” He said it in 1 Corinthians 4:16, Philippians 4:9, Philippians 3:7… where he talks about “Not only me, but these other men that are with me, men of like heart.” So, what I think we do in disciplemaking is we help people come to know the Lord, we get them doing what we’re doing. Here’s the way I memorize verses, let me share with you how to do that; here’s the way I have a quiet time, and then you see the results.

You know in verse 5 [Acts 1], the Gospel came in power “to them,” then in verse 8 it said “From you sent the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place.” So, the Gospel comes in power to them and later it goes out in power from them: that’s the multiplication of it. And then he said, we were an example and he said now you’ve become an example. So, I think the thing is that we have got to build into people’s lives the principle and the why before the how. If they don’t understand why we’re doing it- you know, you come at people with methods and they might do the methods while they’re with you, but if they do not come to the same convictions as to why we’re doing it, then once they get away, they will quit. See, I want them to know why you have a quiet time and staff fellowship and that you do that for the rest of your life- whether everybody else is doing it or not. And then, whatever we’re doing in Scripture memory, the principle behind it is getting the Word of God in your heart, the method may be writing verses on cards to memorize. But, it’s always the idea of trying to build it deeply into their lives and always with the idea that now you can pass it on: “Now you remember what we did, how I showed you how to memorize verses? Now can you do that with someone?” The basic principle, I think, regardless of the technology, always it’s always been the way Jesus spent time with those men and I think that’s what it takes.

Jack: That’s a great word, that’s a great word. Talk to us about the enemies of discipleship.

Max: Well today- and this is where I think the difference in the culture is- today, men are so busy. I see this with men- if they’ve got three kids, are into this kind of sports and that kind of sports- I think the busyness of the world… now they’ve got time; because, if you look at the time they spend on social media and things like that… but, they’re so busy. And, so many of the husbands and wives working now, and then with their children in all kids of sports, it’s very, very hard to get some people to see, you know, you’re going to have to give some time, if you’re gonna grow. Now, I find men will do that… if you have the relationship with them. You may have to meet them for an early breakfast or whatever; but, the enemy wants his time. I think that’s the biggest thing they face: “I just don’t see that I have time.”

Jack: Speak to, we talked a little bit beforehand, about not understanding or knowing what to do.

Max: Well, and I think that is a problem, because a lot of people think: “Well, I don’t know that many verses; I haven’t been to seminary, or whatever.” I think if they understand just what you do in that time- like I was sharing with a guy here I’d been meeting with, someone for two years and he didn’t clearly have in mind what he’s doing; so, I said to him – and I learned this from John Crawford – “There’s two parts of your time: there’s the relational- you build on the relationship.” Like if you and I are getting together, I wouldn’t walk in and say, “Today we’re gonna cover this.” First, you start with, “Jack is there an… how are things going?” Because, there may be something you need to talk about and so you want to build on that relationship. And then go to, you can, “Here, check me on my verses.” You spend time with your verses, you spend some time praying, and you’re always trying to impart some Biblical content. It’s not just, “We get together and talk,” and so, we’re trying to do that: build something into that person’s life.

Jack: That’s good Max. How did you develop a vision for disciplemaking?

Max: Well, while I was in college, I began to witness and that was a hard step for me. I remember one night when I was praying, I said, “Lord, when I get my veterinary hospital I’ll try to make enough money to personally send a missionary.” And, I thought God would be excited about that and I sensed that he wasn’t. And, then he impressed upon me, “I want you to be a witness here and now,” and that scared me. But, I knew I’d never be what God wanted me to be if I wasn’t obedient. So, I got a New Testament and started down the hall. I saw this guy sitting at his desk; we didn’t have air conditioning in our dorm, and I looked at him for a moment. And, I’d go down the hall and I’d read the bulletin board and pray some more and then I’d go by and get a drink and read the bulletin board and get another drink before I could finally just knock on the door. And I began to tell him, “Hey, I’m an Aggie like you, but I want to share what Christ has done.” And then the fella next door: we were also involved in the same organization on campus – religious organization – and he came in and said, “You know I’ve never led anyone to the Lord.” And I said, “You haven’t?” (like I was an old pro) and I said, “Well, why don’t we? Let’s go every night until somebody accepts the Lord.” So, we began to do that, of course the guy did accept the Lord, and then we began to meet every night at 10:00pm to go witness; and then I began to try to help those guys to grow. I didn’t know a whole lot about how to do that, but you know, like especially on a Friday night or Saturday, I’d get some of them together and we’d read the Bible and somebody had told me: “If you can write verses on cards, you can memorize them.” This guy had gone to Moody Bible Institute and he had learned that there, so that’s what I started doing. And so then, when I heard of Dawson Trotman and his vision, it just cleared it up. It wasn’t something new; it’s just the fog lifted, and I knew that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Jack: That’s great. Tell us how one-to-one relationships have impacted you personally.

Max: Well, you know when Waylon Moore told me about The Navigators, I came up that summer for a summer conference; and, I remember one day Lorne said, “While you’re here, why don’t you ask God to give you a promise for your life?” So, I went out under a pine tree one day and I said, “God, I don’t want to do this just because Lorne said, but if you’ve really got something for me, I want to know it.” So, I thought: “Well, I know where there’s some promises, so I’ll go get one.” And then I thought, “I’m just gonna continue to read.” So, I’d read along and pray awhile and then it was just like the Lord seemed to say to me, “What do you want for your life?” I said, “God I want you to give me men.” (I was at Texas A&M all-men school and so I thought in terms of men.) And then the word came: “Not everybody’s a man,” and these two words filled my mind, “Lord give me men and give me people. That’s what I want for my life.” Well, the very next verse was Isaiah 43:4, “Since you are precious in my sight, you’ve been honored and I’ve loved you; therefore, I give men for you and people for your life.” I knew God had spoken to me. I knew I needed help; I mean, so I would try to get time when I could with Navigators. You know, I’d come up here [Glen Eyrie] for a conference and try to get with men that I could; and, if somebody was walking with the Lord, I wanted to learn from them. But, I never did have anybody to personally disciple me. But, I went after people; and, I would talk with people. Now you know, I wasn’t going with The Navigators, so there were especially some of the young guys weren’t real about me cause they weren’t sure I’d join the organization. But, Lorne Sanny and LeRoy Eims and guys like that were very free to share with me; and I loved that. Man, I’d drive 600 miles to hear one of them speak! And so, I just tried to pick it up. But, personal relationships is where it starts; and, I think that’s what’s so important. And, that’s what Jesus did with the twelve: he had twelve, but he got a lot of time with the individuals.

Jack: Amen. How does someone get started in discipling?

Max: Well, I think first of all, we want them to see it and be able to say this is not something The Navigators came up with. This is Biblical. This is what Jesus told us to do. So, I think the thing of it is, and what I try to do with guys, is first of all show it to them Biblically. “Guys, look here what Matthew 28 says. And so, I want you to see now you can do this and I’m gonna help you with it. We’re gonna memorize this verse, and now I want you to try to find someone else you can do this with.” So, we’re always trying to help them and give them a little bit of guidance, so that they don’t feel lost.

I know a fella that developed a discipleship program, Billy Hanks, “Operation Multiplication.” And, he told me one time that he found people kind of floundering and he gave them a half-sheet, just saying, “Okay, in our meeting, here’s what you can do: you can spend some time talking and you can spend fifteen minutes praying and you can do this.” He said it really helped because a lot of people just need a track to run on. They needed a little bit of guidance, and that’s what 2:7 and things like that is helpful with people to learn what to do.

Jack: Yeah. Well, that’s tremendous. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule in this 50th year to bring up this group to The Glen. We not only appreciate you being here, but thank you for sharing the experiences God’s given you throughout the years with us and with our audience today. So, thank you again and Max. Lord bless you for the next fifty years!

Max: Thank you.

Jack: We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode and feel encouraged and equipped. For more resources, our blog, and to sign up for weekly emails, visit our website theapprenticeapproach.org, and if you haven’t subscribed to The Apprentice Approach Podcast on iTunes, do it today!

Until next time, this is your host Jack McQueeney, believing God for generations of men and women like you!

* Booklets by Max Barnett: A Vision for Developing Disciplemakers, The Truth About Calvinism, How to Have a Multiplying Ministry, The Value of Memorizing Scripture, Fellowship with God

For more information email: theapprenticeapproach@navigators.org

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