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:


I struggle similarly with just being vulnerable with making connections with people.

Vicki, Don't believe the lie from the enemy, doubt, fear, insecurity , isolation. We need to look into the correct mirror, the word of God and reflect on His truth. He designed you , He has amazing plans for you, daughter of The King. Pray that you can lean in and trust what God has planned. So glad you are participating in IF, thank you for sharing. Gods kingdom is love, peace, joy, in the midst of this world.

I think I have felt discouraged because I have not seen the results I wanted or expected. I think it's hard not to take it personally. I get discouraged with people not making improvements so I tend to pull away before I should. I see the process differently now. I know it is my responsibility to speak God's word, so others can hear Truth. But God is control of me, my words and actions. And He is in control of the other person's heart, soul and life. I am just privileged to be involved.

When walking through discipleship I think I've had that mentality that I'm supposed to have it more together than the one I'm helping to guide. I know it's not true and have allowed them to know of some of my struggles. A lesson I read today in 1corinthians goes along with this about how knowledge pugs up while love builds up. This is actually a relief. The other thing I have difficulty with is figuring out how to live life out with them. Make room in my life to spend more time with them. There are deeper issues underlying this that I'm asking for God s help.

I struggle with the same thinking. This study has been so good in changing the way I think of discipleship.

I love what Lindsey said about not elevating yourself above those you are discipling, but walking alongside. We are all on this journey of life together and let's face it, it's messy!! I also think that this walk is not really linear, but very winding, with lots of backtracking, small steps and hills and valleys. There will be times when I am the disciple and times when I need discipling. I want to be super humble as I disciple others and remember that it is not really me that is doing anything, but the spirit of our amazing God living in me and through me that accomplishes his will.

Exactly! Well said.

Life is messy, people are messy but that's where the Lord comes through and proves His faithfulness. I need to remember God's grace in my life as an early believer while discipling people He brings into my life. I also need to remember how gentle God is with me and allow His gentleness to flow through me, especially with people who are mean. I tend to veer away from these types of people out of fear of getting hurt but I know and believe God wants victory in my life in this area.

There was a woman in a Bible study group that I hosted who became a dear friend. She was going through a very difficult time in her life and for a season shut me out of her life. The Spirit continued to give me a burden of prayer for her. In His time our relationship was restored and our fellowship in the Lord is even sweeter.
Now I have the blessing of being a spiritual mom to her and marvel at what God is doing in her heart.

A good reminder that prayer is one of the best ways to stay involved with someone.

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