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First Hand Experience with Discipleship

20 April 2017 No Comment

For a number of years, RRR has been equipping churches in Russia with practical tools, and the primary tool we use is called First Steps Discipleship. We interviewed two teenage girls currently using First Steps and wanted to share their experience with you. As you read. please consider a financial contribution to RRR. Your financial gifts make this work possible.

Question: Is this your first experience discipling someone?

Sima: No, this is my second. The first time was not very successful, so this is my second attempt.

Xenia: This is the first time for me and it’s going well. I began going to church about 4 months ago and I had some knowledge about church and things related to God, but now these bits and pieces are coming together and forming into a large mosaic-like picture.

Question: What topic in the workbook are you covering now?

Sima: We just finished the third lesson on developing priorities, and we cover one lesson per week. Discipleship draws us closer to each other and gives me the opportunity to learn as well. I learn things that I don’t think I could through superficial interaction. She Xenia) asks the kind of questions that I don’t think she would if we weren’t going through this process.

Question: How do you like to be discipled by Sima?

Xenia: I enjoy it very much. It makes me stronger, and I she shares a lot of new information that strengthens me spiritually. This process has brought me closer to God and to the church.

Question: Do you notice changes in your life that you attribute to the discipleship process?

Sima: Yes. The best way to learn something new is to learn as you teach it. I definitely learn things in this process and I receive revelations and experience many different things with the Lord. I see things from new angles as new thoughts come to my mind. I often have “aha moments” in the middle of our sessions.

Question: What led you to start this discipleship relationship?

Xenia: I attended a prayer meeting and the pastor’s wife, Angelica Sokolova, asked me if I was involved in one-on-one discipleship with someone in the church? At first, I wasn’t sure I understood what she was talking about. I thought it must be some kind of a ritual of initiation in the church. Angela explained it to me and eventually set me up with Sima who is one of the girls in the church. I figured it would be good because I always appreciated one-on-one relationships more than group studies because it’s easier for me to open and be more transparent when it’s one on one.

Sima: When I first met with Xenia, I was very glad though, to be honest, I sometimes lack confidence in my competence as a discipler.

Xenia (interrupting Sima): What?!? You’re a wonderful discipler. I enjoy it so much. Everything goes so smoothly.

Question: Are your expectations being met?

Sima: Absolutely. I think as we go further it will be an even greater experience. It has been only three weeks and it has already been a very positive thing for both of us.

Xenia: I don’t think I had expectations. All I know is that I enjoy this process a lot.

Question: What do you specifically like in this program?

Xenia: I really like the “conversation” part in the beginning of each lesson. At first, we even tried to role-play as we read them, but it was so funny and made us laugh so hard, we stopped and switched to reading it individually. Sometimes, I catch myself flipping through the pages trying to see what’s ahead.

Question: Would you like to become a discipler after you finish with Sima?

Xenia: Yes! It says in the workbook that I will be able to become a discipler after I finish being discipled.

Question: What final words would you like to give to our readers?

Xenia: Be consistent. I think it is very important to keep momentum and not miss any weekly meetings. If you miss one, it becomes easier to miss another, and before you know it, you completely drop the ball.

Sima: I agree. Once, we missed our weekly meeting. After that, we agreed to try our best to meet weekly even though the only time we are able to meet is at 9:00 pm after a long day. We are both often tired when we met, but I am so glad we do because we go home refreshed from our session.

Question: Is it Important for the Church to become involved in one-on-one discipleship?

Xenia: Yes, I feel like my faith is strengthened and life makes more sense.

Sima: Yes. If a new person in the church has no personal one-on-one relationship with someone else from the church, it becomes very easy for them to stop going to church altogether and return to their old lifestyle. Discipleship like this establishes a new person in their faith.

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