A discipleship strategy: Do you have one?
“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3,4)
Paul understood that strategy is not just for the visible battles earthly armies fight, but also for the supernatural, unseen war that He has grafted us into.
And even though our struggle is not of flesh and blood, it is the most significant, most fierce struggle ever.
The word “soldier” in the Greek language is: strata logos, simply meaning “a word about strategy.”
Every soldier of Christ, then and now, must have a pre-planned, pre-drilled strategy if they hope to triumph.
The Desert Storm campaign in 1991 that America and her allies waged against Saddam Hussein was one of the greatest examples of military mobilization (and strategy) in all of history.
Months and months of moving hundreds of thousands of soldiers, ships, planes, tanks, missiles, and supplies all for the purpose of quickly and decisively crushing the Iraqi invaders.
What if, right before the attack, commanding officer General Schwartzkopf pulled his mass of soldiers together on the Kuwaiti beach, and instead of giving them a detailed strategy on how they were going to attack and defeat the enemy, he impulsively decides to just grab his bullhorn and simply yell, “Now, get out there and get ‘em!”?
I have a feeling our boys would still be out there wandering around the sand dunes trying to figure out what he meant exactly by “get ‘em!”
In ministry, we can choose to discard or neglect strategy, saying we are just going to “be led of the Lord.” That may hide our laziness or fear of failure for a time, but it will catch up with us.
Like the intramural games I quarterbacked in college where we always possessed superior talent, but each year, in the championship game, we were thrashed by a team who had designed, practiced, and perfected actual plays!
In contrast, I had deceived myself into thinking I could simply gather my guys in the huddle, brashly say, “get open!”, and skill and instinct alone would win the day. Oops. My bad!
If vision is what you want to see accomplished, then strategy is how to implement it.
As you plot out your strategy to plant the flag of Jesus Christ at the heart of your campus, exactly what is it you want to see happen in the minds and hearts of your students?
What will each one look like when they graduate and we pass them on to their next assignment in life? Bottom line: transformation, life change, and Christlikeness.
Yes, God is the one who is at work in them and through them, but He has chosen us to help shepherd and shape them during this oh so pliable phase of their youth.
To get a little direction, check out this Discipleship Road Map and Discipleship Ladder tool. This tool includes some profiles to help us understand the end result of what we are praying and working toward.
You can use these profiles to evaluate where each of your students currently is and where it is you need to be taking them.
Sprinkle them with grace, understanding that who and what we are is just as important (or more important) as what we do in the Christian life and ministry.