…with a Little Help from My Friends
by Dr. Kevin Garrett
Published on May 10, 2024

…with a Little Help from My Friends

 

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to invite a few men to join a new men’s group focusing on helping each other grow. (We’re calling it a huddle.) We meet weekly over breakfast and plan to do this for at least six months. Utilizing a biblically-based book we each study, we discuss life, eternal life, struggles, hopes, joys, spiritual practices, and theology. We are in our fourth week. We are growing. These men are being discipled.

A disciple can be defined as a learner or follower. We read in the New Testament that rabbis had disciples, John the Baptist had disciples, and Jesus had disciples. In the Great Commission, believers in Jesus Christ are commissioned by Him to “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 all that I have commanded you.” Then Jesus assures us, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

This week I began meeting with another group. (We call this one a huddle, as well.) This group consists of a few pastors from across our state who meet via Zoom once a week. The men have the same intentions as the group I lead. The difference is I am not leading this group of pastors, but am subjecting myself to the leadership of others. I am being further discipled.

Here is a solid truth. No matter how many accolades or achievements I may think I have, I will always need the input and leadership of others in my life. I need people outside of myself who can help me mature and become closer and closer to Jesus and to imitating Him. Although I may be disciplining others, I will never be perfect . . . nor will you. We all need encouragement, advice, and sometimes even correction, to keep us following in Jesus’ footsteps as well as we can.

We all need mentors, leaders, and others to help us grow. (Ironically, when I lead others, I grow, as well.) None of us are perfect. All of us should be lifelong learners; lifelong disciples. The man who thinks he has it all together is sorely mistaken. Here’s another solid truth: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

As a Baptist, I remember a time when the church had Discipleship Training; another time to meet and learn intellectually. Recently we have seen a return to a more true practice of disciple-making. This practice involves more than our brains. It is the practice of opening our lives to others and truly seeking to help one another grow closer to Christ and improve our imitation of Christ. It is holistic, it is intentional, and it is reproductive as Jesus stated in the Great Commission. I’m pleased to be part of the disciple-making movement. We need it. I need it. You need it.

According to David Spader, author of 4 Chair Discipling, “Biblical “disciple-making” involves the whole process of winning the lost (chair 1), building the believer (chair 2), equipping the worker (chair 3), and sending out proven multipliers (chair 4). This was the original intent of Jesus, when He gave the command. This is what Jesus so masterfully modeled for us” [1] (accessed 2/3/2022).

I hope you are involved in disciple-making. I hope you are learning from others, growing in Christ, and leading others to do the same. If not, I encourage you to find someone you respect as a mature Christian and ask for help in becoming a better follower of Christ. There are several great resources for groups of men or women to utilize. Take the first step. You need this.

Dr. Kevin Garrett has served for over thirty years in the areas of music ministry, student ministry, recreation ministry, education ministry, and as a pastor. He has written curricula for youth and adult ministries for LifeWay Christian Resources. Kevin’s passion is to help individuals become spiritually healthy and lead healthy churches. He has a keen interest in helping leaders and churches find vision and engage with all generations within the challenges of the twenty-first century. He holds a BS in Education and an MA in Music from Jacksonville State University. He also holds an MDiv, DMin from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, with specializations in church health and next generation ministries. He and his wife, Tina, joyfully serve as pastor of First Baptist Church of Atmore, AL. The two enjoy time with their children, Geoffrey and Sydney Garrett, and Nelson and Brooke Garrett, as well as with their grandchildren, Jaden, Ariel, and Elise. To read more of his work visit his website

 

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

 

1 Comment

  1. Robert Arthur Marzullo

    I do have one: MY Wife!

    Reply

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