Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by OCF Communications

Episode 010 show notes

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

We recognize these verses as part of the Great Commission—marching orders given to us by Jesus in Matthew chapter 28. And in Second Timothy chapter 2 verse 2, Paul makes a similar statement: “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

The call in these verses is clear: Be disciples and make disciples.

But is that still true for us today? After all, life moves fast. And in the high-tempo, transient lifestyle of the military, do we really have time to pour into someone else and answer the call to make more disciples?

The guest for this episode is COL Scott Kelly, USA, and he’ll share his insights on the topic of discipleship. In our conversation, COL Kelly will define discipleship, he’ll talk about what discipleship is meant to accomplish, and share his 5 Characteristics of a Good Disciple Maker. COL Kelly will also offer some insights on how best to disciple others in the often hectic pace of the military.

Episode Outline

  • [2:07] Introducing COL Scott Kelly, USA
  • [6:06] COL Kelly defines discipleship.
  • [7:02] “Discipleship is Spiritual Parenting.” It is more than a teach-student relationship. It is more than just spending time together.
  • [8:02] What should we be trying to accomplish? There is a full spectrum of anticipated outcomes based on the spiritual maturity of the individual. For the mature, we are at least after “incremental discernment.”
  • [11:37] COL Kelly shares his personal experiences with discipleship.
  • [12:41] After 20 years as a believer, COL Kelly still considers himself a young Christian. The requirement of being a disciple-maker is to be a good disciple. There is much we can do in those times in our lives where we are not being personally discipled by someone. We still have the Word and still have an obligation of being a follower of Christ.
  • [16:15] What are the characteristics we need to be developing to be a good disciple-makers?
  • [17:50] Five Characteristics of a Good Disciple-Maker
  • [17:56] 1. Knowledge – We must know God. He is unfathomable, but the Holy Spirit helps us to know more about Him and His character and His ways. This is an eternal pursuit—we should spend our whole life pursuing after the Lord. There is an element of teaching involved in discipling others, and disciple-makers need to be armed with a knowledge of God, which comes through Scripture. “The greatest indicator of how strongly somebody is walking with the Lord is the time they spend in Scripture and studying His ways.” Renewing our mind is key to growing in knowledge and preparing ourselves to be disciple-makers. We need to be able to clearly communicate the Gospel to others. Have a working knowledge of foundational theological terms, such as justification, sanctification, being redeemed, propitiation, etc. Be familiar with apologetics (as Jude says “to contend for the faith.”) and the questions the world typically will ask about Christian faith and doctrine. A good disciple-maker also has a good study plan.
  • [21:49] 2. Experience – A seasoned saint has learned to be discerning. There is much in the Christian life that is a result of experiential learning—have you wrestled with God over men, have you wrestled with men over God, and so forth? Such experiential learning is God’s way of growing us and maturing us. It’s part of His process of sanctification. There is experience that comes with walking with the Father through life that helps us then apply God’s truths within our culture. As a disciple-maker, then, it becomes important to discern where a disciple is and to be armed with a knowledge of Scripture in order to provide them wisdom for their situation. Consider this formula: Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom.
  • [24:04] 3. Count the Cost – Realize that there is a cost to the disciple-maker. Our world has become busier and faster-paced. It takes time to invest in others. Are you prepared to invest that time? There’s also an emotional investment as conversation and interaction become more transparent. When you’re discipling someone you grieve when they grieve, you join them in their struggles wherever they are.
  • [25:30] 4. Sincerity – Be straightforward and candid. Not only are we called to rebuke and admonish one another, but we’re also called to encourage each other (Colossians 4:6, “be seasoned salt”). The danger is sincerity without scriptural knowledge because there is a risk that a disciple-maker will respond with worldly wisdom and not the wisdom of the Lord. This is why foundational knowledge of Scripture is so important, as it allows a disciple-maker to give sincere, Scriptural counsel grounded in the wisdom of the Lord. Must be scripturally anchored.
  • [26:47] 5. Watchfulness – Be vigilant over men’s souls. When a disciple-maker looks at a disciple, they should pay attention to where they are in their phase of life. This is where experience becomes important, because then the disciple-maker can relate to where the disciple is in their phase of life. As it relates to the military, such phases as “do I stay in the military or get out?” “who do I marry?” “when do I retire?” “how do I raise a family?” “what’s the next job I should take?” This is where a senior can not only recognize where they are, but also see what’s just over the horizon for them. Spiritually, are they on milk or meat?
  • [30:20] The importance of accountability. While accountability is crucial, the relationship with a disciple should go beyond a list of accountability questions.
  • [31:46] Practical application. What does discipleship and disciple making look like in the military? Overall, it looks the same wherever you are, but there are unique dynamics in the military—being sensitive to command relationship and fraternization (both literal and even the perception of). The downside of discipleship in the military context is that sometimes “we struggle to live life together.” Because of the nature of military service, being consistently present in a disciple’s life will always be a struggle. However, it does not alleviate a disciple-maker from the responsibility of discipling others. You must be prepared to make disciples in a distributed environment–use Skype or FaceTime! Technology can help us disciple in a way we haven’t been able to do in the past.
  • [36:38] You asked what else have I not asked? Just Do IT! Even if you are not being personally discipled, get in the Word. Be deliberate and purposeful–look for those who are coming after you who are not as far down the road as you are.
  • [39:20] Discussion of resources

Links to Resources and Books

Older documents that have some very fundamental knowledge:

Four recommended publishers:

From the Bible: 2 Timothy 2:1-7, the Book of Ephesians

About OCF Crosspoint

OCF Crosspoint is a podcast produced by Officers' Christian Fellowship and is dedicated to sharing stories of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession.

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