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:


My husband and I have hosted a couples Bible study for a lot of years. There was a period of time like for 7-10 years when the same husbands would come sit through the lesson and look bored. We became frustrated wondering if this was really what God wanted us to be doing with our time. But He never directed us otherwise so we plodded along year after year. Now one of those men is growing and serving in the church. One of Gods best. It is Gods timing and work not ours.

Press-on faithfulness! Thank you for sharing Kimberly!

For me it's remembering that the results don't define me Christ defines me. So my success isn't based on numbers but obedience to Christ.


My struggle has always been about how to disciple people other than my kids, because I homeschool. And how will I model discipleship to them if we don't have unbelievers in our circle of friends. We live in such a bubble! But I have poured Christ into them and been faithful to what I know the Lord has called me to do, and I have to trust that He sees the big picture and who will be disciples through my young disciples!

To everything there is a season -- He knows your heart, lean into Him, and He will direct your path. Keep being faithful with your children, it is a high and holy calling. One day at a time...

My photos don't seem to want to upload for this study, but I'm enjoying it immensely! I'll try this one today - it says Mark 7 which is where Jesus speaks about the heart & so my photo says: A Pharisee I do not want to be... I think that's my struggle with results in discipleship. *I* get judgmental, even though I don't want to be. I overthink things & wonder about holiness, etc. I love that Lauren Chandler wrote to just wash their feet in love like Jesus, not keep pointing out everything wrong.


Great illustration - let's park in the space of grace.

For me I have worked in youth or children's minisrty for years. One of the hardest things in those areas is you do not always get to see the results of your labor. You can disciple and pour into a child or teen and they either grow out of your area, move away, or God moves you before you see or know the results of the work you have done. I understand that more niw and it is less of a struggle but when I was new in ministry it was the hardest part gor me.

I know exactly what you mean working in children's ministry myself. God doesn't want us to know the results! He will give you enough to keep you encouraged though!

I struggle with feelings of inadequacy // not-enoughness. When someone allows me "in," the weight of expectation can sometimes feel crushing. Whether it's my own self-imposed expectations (which is usually the crazy case), or whether it is the other person's.

I am a writer at heart, and finding the right words are how I process life, they are my love-language :-). But put me on the phone, or face-to-face, and my words sometimes just freeze. And that makes me feel like that little girl in 3rd grade again who suddenly found herself alone ~ rejected ~ because I had said the wrong thing (with the right heart) to my friend.

But, I am learning...sometimes my tongue locks up because I simply need to listen more. Other times, I need to pray and give an answer later. And most of the time, I just need to remember and believe deep in my core that I am loved, whether my words make impact or not.

When I come from a place of fullness (spending daily time in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with like-minded believers), my heart, and my words, can't help but be an overflow of that filling.

"No soul can soar to the place of living loved when it’s a performance-based endeavor. Living loved is sourced in your quiet daily surrender to the One who made you." (Lysa Terkeurst, Uninvited)

I recently listened to Christy Nockels' podcast with Jennie, and she said something that has forever marked my heart, especially as it relates to walking shoulder-to-shoulder with those He has placed in our lives: Responsibility is our response to God's ability. // Yes, oh how I want to let that soak in!
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8)

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