the weblog of Alan Knox

Who’s discipling whom here?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in blog links | 4 comments

If you’ve read any of the comments on my blog, then you’ve probably come across comments by Randi at “Seeds in my Heart.” I often joke with Randi that her comments are often longer than my posts. But, I actually enjoy the way that she uses comments to “think through” various topics and questions.

Last week, Randi wrote a very good post called “Shepherding the Lambs.” The post is primarily about how she shepherds her children. However, there is much in her post that is applicable even to us adults.

She primarily sees her role as helping her children understand how Jesus himself is shepherding them. She writes:

To me, it’s just about creating opportunities for the kids to interact with Jesus…and to keep my eyes & heart open to God seeds whenever, wherever.

But, primarily, I want to point to a statement that Randi made toward the end of her post, where she writes:

The more I think about it, I really am not sure who is discipling who, really. This is so very humbling.

Yes, that’s it exactly. When we’re discipling one another – that is, when we’re helping one another follow Jesus – it’s often hard to figure out who is discipling whom. And, I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Why? Because, discipleship is the work of God through the Holy Spirit as he guides us and empowers us to follow Jesus Christ. He uses us, of course, but it’s his work.

And, who does God work through? Whoever is indwelled by his Spirit – that is, by all of his children.

So, while it’s definitely possible – and perhaps probable – that a mature follower of Jesus Christ will disciple a new believer, it is just as possible that the new believer will also disciple the mature follower of Jesus Christ – if they are both depending on the work of God through the Holy Spirit to help them follow Jesus.

I never worry about who is discipling whom. Because it’s always God discipling all of us by his Holy Spirit dwelling in and working through all of us.

The only danger, then, is if someone assumes that she/he cannot be discipled by someone else.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-25-2013

    That is the beauty of gathering together without the concept of hierarchy. Just looking at a baby in the arms of its mother can bring the weight of the Gospel to bear on an indifferent or careless heart. The harmonies of a family singing together can bring the peace of heaven to an aching heart and the prayers of a 10 year old can lift a weighty burden. No room for big egos or lust for power or control. I love the liberty and flow of being able to respect each other without designations as to who should be respected more or less. True equality is a lovely thing. Obviously not available or achievable for the most part in the world system. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

  2. 7-25-2013


    This idea that God can and does work through all of his children is one of the reasons that I prefer gatherings such as the ones you describe.


  3. 7-25-2013

    Thank you for understanding what the Lord was doing and how He is teaching me so much about the bigger family, Church – through the dynamics of my daily life with the kiddos & family. 🙂 Look at how short this comment is!!! ha!

  4. 7-25-2013

    Rita beautifully said. It’s so true. No hierarchies. God teaches SO MUCH through daily family life. Imagine if our Church family really could relate like this?!?!