The Struggle With Results | IF:Gathering

The Struggle With Results

It feels weird to talk about results when discussing discipleship because it’s difficult to identify the “right” outcome of discipleship. Of course, the end goal of discipleship is to make disciples, and we must always keep this goal at the forefront. However, it is difficult to say that making disciples can only look one way. Discipleship takes on many forms because every person and relationship is different; each person’s journey with God is unique. For instance, God might use you along with many others to influence one person for Christ.

In the end, God is the one who does the work. He is the one who changes hearts. Therefore, we don’t have to get caught up in the results. Our job is to wholeheartedly give our lives to Christ and allow Him to do His work through us.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit makes disciples. We must rely on His transformative power, as He is the one who changes hearts. Through the prophet Ezekiel (36:26–27), God promised new spiritual life: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” John 16:8 says that the Holy Spirit is the one who “convicts the world of sin and righteousness.” Matthew 10:19–20 says that the Spirit speaks through us as we make disciples. And the apostle Paul said this about His words: “my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4–5). Our words don’t have to be perfect, because one’s faith does not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Let these truths relieve any burden you might feel about discipleship. Make the effort, but remember that God is the one who changes hearts. This truth keeps us from being consumed by the results of discipleship; God is in control of the results. These truths also keep us humble as we remember that the transformative work of God is always the “how” in making disciples.

Now What?
As we remember God’s call, may we go and make disciples. As we go and make disciples, may we remember that the methods of discipleship vary but the message of the gospel stays the same. Think about the community and culture God has placed you in. How do the people in your life need to experience the gospel? Do discipleship in a way that meets the needs of those around you.

Finally, as you go and make disciples remember this: “It is not better methods (we need), but better men and women who know their Redeemer from personal experience—men and women who see His vision and feel His passion for the world—men and women who are willing to be nothing so that He might be everything—men and women who want only for Christ to produce His life in and through them, according to His own good pleasure.”

Watch a captioned version of today's video here:


As a full time leader in church this last year, the women in the various groups that I lead saw me deal with my marriage ending. Talk about a chance to allow people to see how I handled my mess as opposed to thinking I'm perfect! It was an amazing extremely vulnerable, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

April - I am grateful for your vulnerability and willingness to allow those women into your mess, not trying to hide it but walking through it in community :)

Wow. Praise God for giving us women like you who can walk victoriously through trial as an example for the rest of us in our own situations. Thank you for being open to let God use you in that way!

I think my struggle with the results of discipleship has to do with control of the level of commitment I or the person I'm discipling have in growing in the Lord. I can't control the other individual's commitment. I will only ever know as much of God as I am willing to put into practice. I can't control how much that person i'm discipling will put into practice - it can be heartbreaking and frustrating to watch them make poor choices. But I can control how obedient I am. I am grateful that it's Spirit's job to convict and my job to grow into a mature Christian. To make mature christians, you need mature Christians!
I think we can also glamorise discipleship. I read this quote by Oswald Chambers and it resonated with me:
"The "show business," which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from Our Lord's conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes."
My prayer is that all of us will be exceptional in ordinary things.

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I love the Oswald Chambers quote!

Love Oswald's quote - spot on!!

What a perfect quote for today! Thanks for sharing friend! I struggle with expectations on how it should look, and when it doesn't meet them I easily get disappointed - releasing control is pivotal for mindset change in this area for me.

Yes!! "Exceptional at ordinary things". Love that! I'm going to "steal" that quote to share. Thank you!!!!!!

Love the quote! Thank you for sharing! Such a great reminder!

Exactly! It's not show business!!! Great quote!

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