You Can’t Call It Discipleship Until There is a 4th Generation

by the Howitzer

Many of us dream of the day where this picture of us (even though these guys are stock photo guys) will be true. Loving great grandfathers being able to see and touch our legacy. I will never get to experience that. My grandfather (Watt) died when my dad (Charles) was only 2 years old. And my great grandfather (Edward) died when Watt was less than two years old. I am pretty sure that I won’t see that moving forward either. Charles died at 72 and at this writing I am 58 with my son (Josh) is 19 and a freshman in college. But even though I won’t see multigenerational picture on a physical level, there is a good chance that it is accessible on a discipleship level.

I recently met with a good friend of mine to talk about his discipleship ministry.  Randall meets with a guy named Todd.  The question on the table is when do we call it discipleship.  Am I discipling Randall? Yes?  Is Randall discipling Todd?  Yes?  This may sound harsh but I think that discipleship is occurring when Todd begins to disciple someone.  You can’t call it discipleship until there is a 4th generation.  Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2, “and the things which you (2nd Generation) have heard from me (1st generation) in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men (3rd) who will be able to teach others (4th) also.”

Me working with Randall only = spiritual helping

Me helping Randall help Todd = equipping

Me helping Randall help Todd help ???? = discipleship.

Now that I have your attention, you can call it whatever you want. I am not so dogmatic so as to make a big deal out of the semantics. But, I just want to emphasize that we are not thinking far enough down the track. We need to keep the 4th generation in focus if we are truly going to multiply our personal discipleship ministries. How’s your fourth generation?

Tim Howington. Follower of Jesus. Husband to Terri. Dad to to Josh. Wanna be writer. Bird Watcher. Novice Fly Fisherman. Discipler of Men. Some people call me the Howitzer.

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