How to Activate the Next Generation

I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to believers and putting an urgency in them to get equipped, go deeper in their walks with the Lord and launch their ministries. (Photo by Timothy Choy on Unsplash)

Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19a). It was His Great Commission for us to go out and make disciples, to invest, teach and instruct. I believe Jesus' desire was for us to invest deeply and train people in the same ministry He taught the disciples. However, with ministry leaders overworked and understaffed, and 20 percent of the church doing 80 percent of the work, very little time remains for one-on-one discipleship.

I have always believed the more people we disciple and train, the more people we will have out reaching the lost, healing the sick and delivering the captives. Discipleship should go past a mere Sunday sermon and occasional questions answered.

I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to believers and putting an urgency in them to get equipped, go deeper in their walks with the Lord and launch their ministries. But how can they get the personal discipleship the church is lacking? One of the reasons I started my online school and teach schools internationally was to compensate for that lack. I have purposefully uploaded discipleship videos on YouTube to help train people.

We cannot expect to receive everything we need to learn from a Sunday sermon—and we need personal investment and training. We need to know how to do it.

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When I write articles for Charisma and books, I am intentional to include applicable real-life principles that will leave the reader not only educated but equipped with instructions on how they can practice and implement these truths. For example, I wrote a 30-day devotional for Life in the Spirit on teaching, applying and activating the nine gifts of the Spirit.

Leaders must work together collectively to advance the kingdom of God instead of attempting to grow our own ministry. In Philippians 3:14, Paul writes, "I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." If we would learn to stay focused on the end goal, we would be eager to help others advance by discipling them.

Ministry training and discipleship are not much different than starting a secular job. When we train for a job, in the beginning, someone is working with us. We have another person mentoring us so we can truly learn what they are doing. Jesus took the disciples with Him and had them job-shadow Him. They watched, observed, learned and were sent.

Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples, and this must happen with more than a sermon. Yes, we as the body of Christ have a responsibility to get in the Word and pray and allow the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and instructor. However, many people also need a person walking alongside them, as Jesus did with the disciples, to accomplish their spiritual goals.

I believe leaders must seek the Lord for divine instructions, so we can free up time in our schedule, which will allow us to focus on discipleship and activating and imparting into others. The only way the world will see revival, healing, deliverance and salvation is for us to equip as many people as possible to advance the kingdom of God. People and ministries falter because of lack of proper training.

We speak of being a loving and friendly congregation, but that must start within the walls of the church by being love and giving love to those who desire to labor among us. Instead of stifling someone's gift and not allowing them to use it, how about taking the time to train them how to use it properly? With proper instruction, we will value, encourage and ignite our fellow believers, which they, in turn, can impart to others.

When a ministry leader spends time with individuals and gives instruction and prophetic insight, it propels them into their destiny. They are suddenly ignited, set on fire to do the work of the Lord because someone saw their potential, just as Jesus saw the potential in His 12 disciples.

We need to be led by the Spirit instead of our agenda. We need to walk in the Spirit and not be directed by our flesh. When we seek the Lord, He will give us the wisdom to establish His kingdom through His people here on earth. We have to slow down, be obedient, hear His voice and follow His Great Commission to go out and make disciples.

Kathy DeGraw is an author, international speaker, prophetic deliverance minister and the founder of DeGraw Ministries. You can connect with her at degrawministries.org.

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