Through out my life as a Christian I have been discipled by various people, some more closely and personally than others, but discipled just the same.
I’ve been discipled by Michael Schuler, Hoby Rash, my Dad, Art Barkley, Jamie Utter and Paul Henebury.
I hope and pray that I will be discipled by other godly men throughout my life.
I’ve tried throughout my short adulthood to disciple others with the truth that I’ve been taught.
While Mike and I differ doctrinally now compared to when he discipled me, he always had a zeal to serve Christ.
His humanity sometimes got the best of him, but when it did, he would own up to it.
I’ll not forget Mike – I pray that he and his wonderful wife Gina would have a long and blessed marriage, especially considering they’ve got more kids than 98% of America
Mike would spend time talking with me about the Holy Spirit – a part of the Godhead that I was pretty unfamiliar with.
I had come from a rather conservative church to a church that was slightly more charismatic – Mike was really charismatic compared to many at the church.
Without an understanding that the Lord wanted to work in my life, I would have floundered to say the least.
Hoby must have seen something in me that I couldn’t fathom.
I really looked up to Hoby after Mike left the church we were going to.
Hoby took over the youth group after a fellow student and I asked him if the church would/could start a youth group up.
Hoby, though he was really busy, took the youth group on himself and spent one night a week trying to impress the truth of God’s word on us.
Later, after high school Hoby asked me to be an intern at the church.
I didn’t get to spend as much time with Hoby as I wanted, but I’m glad that Hoby spent the time he did with me and the other students, it really impacted us.
My Dad (Vernon Peterman) and Art Barkley
My dad is now a pastor in Denver, Colorado.
However, growing up he spent lots of time with me as a teenager and taught me myriads of valuable lessons.
One Sunday he was approached by Art Barkley, Art asked if my dad would like to be discipled.
The material Art taught my dad blew him away.
Not because the material was some secret in scripture, but that though my dad had been taught in churches through his whole life, he had never had such a clear set of doctrinal principles about abiding in Christ placed before him.
When I was approximately 20 my dad started to disciple me, taking me through the same material that Art took him through.
What a tremendous impact this had on my life and it eventually led Jessica and I to go through the same material with Art later on (Art was constantly adapting the material to include new details and better illustrations).
Jamie was a Tyndale student who had moved down to Texas with his family the year before Jessica and I moved.
He and his wife Ruth (Abby’s middle name partially owed to Ruth, also partially owed to it being her grandma’s middle name) took Jessica and I under their wings when we first moved down.
As time went on we got busies and didn’t get as much time with them as we’d have liked, but we love the Utter’s and still miss them since they’ve moved.
Jamie during those first few months took me through different parts of scripture and talked with me about various things.
The Utter’s, including Jay and Lacy, were like true family and Jamie lived out what he taught…a powerful tool of discipleship.
Paul, though he makes strong English tea, is a great brother in Christ.
Paul encouraged me to read through God’s word (The Genesis through The Revelation of Christ to John) multiple times.
This happens to be some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
God’s word is rich but also long so many people don’t ever read it through, and if they do read it through, they do it once in their life.
Paul has spent a lot of time talking with me about a lot of different theological things and has definitely been an influence on my apologetics.
Discipleship in a Christian context requires a discipler to not only teach something, but also to be intimate with the disciple in a deeper sense than a larger class setting can allow.
Discipleship includes living things out.
It includes the scriptures being poured over, ideas being worked out together where the disciple has to think about the ramifications of the doctrines of God’s word.
Discipleship is not a light commitment, and a discipler knows this, making sure that there is sustained growth and a good foundation for those who may come and disciple later.
Discipling is deeper than shepherding.
A shepherd has to prepare lessons for the congregation (flock) whereas a discipler must be ready for one person at a time (usually).
The growth that happens with group care will be exceeded by individual care.
A disciple will recognize the need to pick up their Cross, something Christ told His disciples.
The disciple will know that his spiritual death, the death of his will on a moment by moment basis, will be rewarded in heaven, and will bring about joy and rejoicing even in the hardest times.
Discipleship is a powerful thing, if you’re not being discipled, please seek out an older, godly believer and ask them to disciple you.
Contact me if you have more questions because the truth of God’s word is important and you need to know it.
Resting in Him,