Discipling Life-to-Life

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring core values that act like guardrails to guide us in building missional enterprises, including:

This week, we conclude with the fourth core value: Discipling Life-to-Life, featuring a re-post of a previous edition of M3 Weekly from January 2022.

Life-to-Life discipling refers to helping others grow as followers of Jesus through deep connections in everyday life. As David Lyons, an International Vice President for the Navigators, describes:

Navigators are known for what we call “life-to-life” discipleship. This personal approach to helping people grow in Christ is not a program; rather, it involves long-term friendship—going through all of life together while keeping Jesus in the center.

In his words to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul uses the picture of a nurturing parent to illustrate the heart of life-to-life discipling:

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us . . . For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.1

Enterprise is an environment uniquely suited to making a real-life impact on others to help them grow as followers of Jesus. The sheer amount of time most of us spend in the workplace means there are simply more opportunities for us to engage relationally with others. In addition, the workplace environment puts us in real-life situations, engaging a host of real-life issues, where the practical applications of our faith are continually in view.

For a beautiful illustration of life-to-life discipling, check out this video about Andy in Malawi, farming alongside rural villagers as he influences others through life-to-life discipling (about six minutes long).

If you have a friend, perhaps in business leadership, who needs to be inspired or equipped in this area of Life-to-Life Discipling, consider forwarding this newsletter. We want to see more and more people making a transformational, personal impact in the marketplace to help others become more like Jesus.

Verse(s) of the Week

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 1 Thessalonians 2:9-10 (ESV)

These two verses are found in the middle of the passages quoted above about Paul’s parental approach. Let’s ask God to lead us this week into deeper ways of incorporating life-to-life spiritual parenting into our everyday work.

1 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, 11-12 (ESV)

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