Tag Archives: mentoring

The Bridge

The Bridge Illustration

One of the most important tools in a disciple maker’s toolbox is The Bridge Illustration.

It is one of the most effective evangelism tools on the planet!  I don’t know where it originated, but I have used this tool with great effectiveness for many years.

Whether the person you are discipling has been a church attender for many years or knows absolutely nothing about Jesus, this tool delivers the full power of the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever it is deployed.  As you engage in disciple making you will discover that most people lean on their church attendance as evidence that they are a child of God or they don’t know anything about Him at all.  There is often a complete lack of understanding why Jesus had to die on the cross.  They may think they know God, but they do not have a living and active relationship with Him.  Until their blind eyes are opened to the truth, your discipleship efforts will be in vain.

The Bridge Illustration will open the eyes of the blind.

I have borrowed this particular Bridge Illustration from The Navigators due to its simplicity.  However, you will never use this particular illustration because you will be able to draw it on a napkin in a restaurant, the back of an old piece of scrap paper, or a marker on a piece of glass – whatever you have at hand in the moment.

The Bridge Illustration

 

How to Use The Bridge Illustration

  • Memorize all the verses and write them as you draw the illustration above
  • Draw the left cliff with a stick man on top
    • Share the Bible verses as you explain man’s separation from God and the penalty of sin
    • Write the verse reference on the drawing
  • Draw the right cliff and write “GOD” on top
  • Talk about the chasm between man and God.  Draw ‘The Bridge’ = Jesus Christ, our only salvation
    • Share the verses as you explain God’s miraculous provision for man’s salvation
    • Write the verse references
  • Ask for a decision
    • Wait for an answer – don’t be afraid of the pregnant pause, just wait for a response
    • Answer any questions
  • Lead them in a prayer to receive the gift of salvation provided by God in Jesus
  • If they have accepted  Christ write the date on the drawing, give them the drawing and ask them to keep it in their Bible as a memorial.
  • If they do not make a decision to accept Christ, give them the drawing and ask that they keep it somewhere safe.  It may come back to them in the future.

The entire process of sharing The Bridge Illustration takes 10 minutes or less depending on questions.

Come back here after you share The Bridge Illustration and tell us the story.  We all need to hear testimonials for encouragement!

Being

There is one thing that is essential for all disciple makers – BEING.

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.”  Howard Hendricks

In order to reproduce disciples of Christ, we need to BE disciples of Christ.

A disciple is an adherent who accepts the instruction given to him and makes it his rule of conduct.1

I can testify that being a disciple is the chief essential for all disciple makers. If we believe we are the driving force of disciple making, we miss the mark. On our own, we will reproduce self-seeking disciples of ourselves.

The first priority of a disciple maker is to sit at the feet of Jesus, meet with Him daily, and dwell in His presence as a lifestyle.

The apostle Paul describes the results of this lifestyle with great eloquence:

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Can you imagine teaching someone how to weld when you have never touched a welding torch? You may have an intellectual understanding of welding from reading about it, but until you take the welding torch into your hands and set it to metal you do not fully comprehend being a welder.

It is the same for a disciple maker who does not sit at the feet of Jesus and absorb His life, character, essence and splendor.

It is at His feet that He transforms us into His own image. It is this transformation that attracts others to us; it is what they want for themselves. Therefore, making disciples has little to do with us and everything to do with His transforming power.

Do you invite Jesus into your existence? Does your heart yearn for His transforming presence? It is only by existing in His holy presence that we have the essential element for disciple making – the aroma of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

We may have an education in biblical studies, but if we do not have the aroma of the Lord radiating from our being, we will not be an effectual disciple maker. We will tend to deliver head knowledge without heart knowledge.  We create an extraordinary learner, but not a disciple who makes disciples.

Being always precedes doing

Some time ago I was in a group where we were challenged to look up the “be” verses in the Bible. The “be” verses of scripture far exceed the number of “do” verses. It was a life-changing exercise for me.

We tend to want to do for Jesus. Doing is good, but being is exceptional. Doing follows being.

The only way we attain the aroma of Christ is by being His possession: sitting at His feet (learning from Him), meeting Him face to face (allowing His glory to burnish our soul), and linger in His glorious presence (in continual conversation).

Focus on being His disciple and the radiance of His essence will emanate from our being without our awareness. This radiance or aroma of Christ is only discernable to others.

Humility is the outpouring of the Spirit within us. Do not take credit or boast about being with Jesus, the effect of it is already evident to others. For those who are perishing we are the aroma of death, but to those who are being saved we are the aroma of Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

Go make disciples and teach them how to sit at Jesus’ feet where His transforming power will change the flavor and course of their lives for eternity.


Here is an exercise for practicing sitting at Jesus’ feet:

Sit at His Feet with some “Be” Verses

Look these verses up in your Bible so you can read them in context.
Highlight the word ‘be’ or ‘being’ then consider what He desires us to be and why.
Ask yourself, “Is it for His sake or mine?”

  • Matthew 5:48
  • Matthew 16:6
  • Romans 4:21
  • Romans 10:9
  • Romans 12:2
  • Romans 12:10
  • Romans 12:12
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • Ephesians 3:16-19
  • Ephesians 4:2
  • Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Ephesians 5:1-2
  • Ephesians 6:10
  • Philippians 1:9-11
  • Colossians 3:9-10
  • Colossians 4:2
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16
  • Hebrews 12:14
  • James 1:2-4
  • 1 Peter 5:8
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Jude 22

 

But..But..But!

What Are Your Objections to Disciple Making?

What keeps you from entering into discipleship relationships?

Are you objecting to His command to “go make disciples” in Matthew 28:18-20?

Let me share a personal story of my greatest objection to something the Lord asked me to do.

When I was a brand new baby believer in Christ, our daughter was barely two years old. My disciple maker talked with me about homeschooling. I listened to her case for homeschooling with outward respect, but internal skepticism.

Firstly – I had never heard of homeschooling. Secondly, I was not a certified teacher. Thirdly, as a baby believer, did not assume I was capable of teaching my child – that is what public schools are for. Therefore, when my daughter came to school age, I sent her off to public school.

However, the appeal to homeschool remained in the back of my mind.

Have you ever noticed when God is calling you to do something for Him, it (or He) never leaves you alone? The thing He is asking of you never leaves your thoughts! Continue Reading

Organic Mentoring

A book resource for disciple makers

Today, I listened to Family Life Today and found a resource that might be helpful to those of you who disciple younger women.
The radio broadcast features Barbara Neuman and Dr. Sue Edwards from Dallas Theological Seminary talking about a book they have written titled, Organic Mentoring.

Barbara Neumann and Dr. Sue Edwards write from their experiences of discipling younger women. They come alongside young women and build them up in the faith. In the context of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Edwards and Barbara Neumann are in a setting where young women are in abundance and seeking guidance.

The points shared by Barbara Neumann and Dr. Sue Edwards are far less disciplined and structured than the disciple making I have been accustomed to in the past. Proving there are infinite processes that are effective. The points made in this broadcast are designed to meet the needs of the 20-something generation who are somewhat averse to having specific times, dates and processes in their lives.

Personally, I believe discipline is integral to disciple making. How does one become a disciple of Christ without the disciplines of the faith taught in the Bible? Timothy was a disciple of the apostle Paul. Paul spoke and wrote to Timothy on many occasions about discipline.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
What sort of disciples are you creating if there is no discipline involved in the process? I know this makes me sound very old school, but isn’t this a valid question to be asked?

Fellow PatientI adore the C.S. Lewis quote to the right. If a disciple maker has one most important thing to know, this quote says it all. We are all patients in the hands of God. Those who have been walking with Him longer possess the keys that will unlock the mysteries of the faith to new arrivals.

A few great points from this broadcast are:
• 80% of younger women drop out of mentoring programs within three months. They say, “This isn’t working for me.” Due to the structure of a program, it is awkward. The relationship feels forced.
• What needs to change in order to have real influence and impact?
• Teach the younger generation to make godly decisions.

 

I don’t know how long this radio broadcast will remain on the archive pages of Family Life today so please let me know when this link to the broadcast no longer works: “Organic Mentoring

Here is a PDF file of the program transcript as well. Organic Mentoring