I first met David through our church. I was meeting with an upperclassman at VT, and one of the encouragements I had given him was to find a younger student to join us. He asked David to join us.  We would meet most often at MacDonald’s where we’d watch Kyle carefully dissect a breakfast cheese biscuit as we talked about scripture, our relationships with Jesus and life challenges. David was/is both full of joy and Jesus. I’m grateful he agreed to share some thoughts about discipleship here.

Discipleship has played a huge role in my life, especially in college, as there have been numerous older and wiser men that have poured a lot of time into my spiritual growth. I honestly do not understand why the Lord blessed me with so many of these relationships that seemingly just fell into my lap, but I am incredibly grateful for them.

In my experience, discipleship has taken a few different forms. Sometimes there were days where I had something I was struggling with, and so my discipler and I would process through it and discuss what was going on and where my heart was at. Other times, discipleship consisted of going through a book or through Scripture and discussing topics and figuring out how I could apply it to my life. Both forms were necessary for me at different times and both helped me to grow in my faith.

Three things I enjoy about discipleship

For me, there are three things that I enjoy the most about discipleship. First, discipleship provides a way to learn from more mature and wiser men on what it means to follow Jesus practically. From figuring out what major to choose in college, to learning and applying sharing my faith, to discussing how to find a church after college – all were discussed in my discipleship relationships and were crucial to my growth.

Discipleship also provides an opportunity to be vulnerable and to talk about what is really going on in life. It can be easy to try and go through the struggles of life on our own without asking for help. But through discipleship, it gave me the chance to be honest about what was going on and it allowed me to work and pray through challenges with someone who both cared and had the wisdom to speak into the situation.

Finally, discipleship is meaningful when you take what you have been taught and impart it to others for the sake of them growing in their relationship with Jesus. I had the opportunity to disciple a guy in college, and it was one of my best experiences. Often times I would use lessons that I had been taught in previous years by my discipler and pass on what I had learned to my disciple. We talked about life or discussed a Biblical topic and thought of ways to apply it to specific areas in his life. Through these times, we formed a special friendship that I won’t forget.

My hope in writing all this is that anyone nervous or cautious about discipleship can maybe see how it has made an impact in my life and be encouraged themselves to jump in. Discipleship can be challenging, and it takes commitment and vulnerability. But it has been a very rewarding experience for me and has been completely worth it. So go for it… you won’t regret it!

On this day...

David Smethurst
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