Joe said, “God’s word says in Colossians 1:28 that we should see everyone complete in Christ. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned about physical and emotional needs.”
“I’ve never done anything like that before,” Sam said. “I’m fearful that I might do the wrong thing. What if people think I’m one of those Jesus freaks? I’m not a Bible scholar.”
“It’s simpler than you think, Sam,” Joe said. “It begins with renewing your mind in God’s word and loving others. God will then open up divine opportunities, beyond anything you’ve ever imagined!”
“That doesn’t sound complicated, Sam said. “I can do that!”
Put Christ first (Colossians 1-2) and prepare spiritually for an effective discipleship ministry (Colossians 3-4). This blog examines spiritual preparation and ministry effectiveness. Put off the old self and put on the new self by renewing your mind richly in God’s word in order to love others. Family and work provide natural opportunities for ministry. Prayer opens the door to share God’s word with wisdom and grace, encourage people to help others grow in Christ, create interactive small groups, and guide people to fulfill God’s ministry.
1. Put off the Old Self and Put on the New Self
Set your minds on things above where Christ was seated at God’s right hand. Embrace your position in Christ: you died and your real life is hidden in Christ where you will appear with Him in glory. Put to death your earthly nature and idolatry including sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed causing God's wrath. Put off the old self of anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying. Put on the new self with mind renewed according to Christ’s image (Colossians 3:1-11). Put off the old self and put on the new self with mind renewed in God's word.
2. Put on Love Allowing God's Word to Dwell Richly
Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Forgive grievances against one another. Put on love being united together. Let Christ’s peace and thankfulness rule in your hearts as members of one body. Allow Christ’s word dwell richly in you while teaching and admonishing others with all wisdom. Sing psalms and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Do everything in word or deed in Jesus’ name thanking God (Colossians 3:12-17). Put on love by allowing God's word to dwell richly in you through teaching, admonishing and expressing gratitude.
As you renew your mind in God’s word and love others, God will open up amazing opportunities for ministry.
3. Submit to Family and Work Authorities
Wives should submit to their husbands as fitting in the Lord. Husbands should love their wives and not be harsh. Children should obey their parents in everything to please God. Fathers, don’t embitter your children lest they become discouraged. Employees should obey their bosses in everything with sincerity of heart and reverence of the Lord. By working heartily serving Christ and not men, employees will receive an eternal inheritance as a reward. Those doing wrong will suffer consequences. Bosses do what was right and fair because they have a Master in heaven (Colossians 3:18-4:1). Submit to family and work authorities to build ministry relationships and earn heavenly reward.
4. Pray for Open Doors to Share God's Word
Be watchful, thankful and devoted to prayer. Ask God to open doors in proclaiming clearly the mystery of Christ. Make the most of every opportunity speaking with clarity, wisdom, and grace (Colossians 4:2-6). Pray for open doors to share God’s word with clarity, wisdom and grace.
5. Encourage People to Help Others Grow in Christ
Paul sent Tychicus and Onesimus to encourage Philippians about his circumstances. Aristarchus, Mark and Justus sent greetings as the only Jews among his kingdom fellow workers who comforted Paul. Epaphras always wrestled in prayer for them to stand firm, fully assured, and mature in God's will. Luke, the doctor, and Demas sent greetings (Colossians 4:7-14). Encourage people to pray, work together, and help others grow in Christ.
6. Create Interactive Small Groups
Paul sent greetings to the Laodicea’s and Nympha’s house churches. He asked that his letter be read to both places, along with the Laodiceans’ response letter
(Colossians 4:15-16). Create interactive small groups.
7. Guide People to Fulfill God’s Ministry
Paul wanted them to tell Archippus to complete the Lord’s work he received (Colossians 4:17-18). Guide people to fulfill God’s ministry.
I will prayerfully consider the following process in preparing for an effective discipleship ministry:
1. I will put off the old self and put on the new self by renewing my mind in God's word
2. I will put on love by letting God's word richly dwell in me as I teach, admonish and express gratitude
3. I will submit to delegated family and work authorities to build ministry relationships and earn heavenly reward
4. I will be prayerful so God opens doors to speak God's word with clarity, wisdom, and grace
5. I will encourage people to pray, work together, and help others grow in Christ
6. I will participate and help create interactive small groups
7. I will guide people to fulfill God’s ministry
In order to apply concepts from Colossians 3-4 for your personal ministry:
- “Download” “6 Fields Discipleship Strategy Worksheet” after clicking on https://bit.ly/6fields so you can fill out the Word document