Know Your Role


Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.Matthew 28:19-20

The Bible offers myriad lessons for all phases of life. A management textbook? Sure, why not?

Consider how Jesus managed his disciples. They were flawed, self-centered human beings -much like the rest of us! Yet He taught and guided them so that, following His crucifixion, they were empowered to establish His kingdom on earth.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) leaves no doubt that we should do the same. The “how” part? Therein lies the challenge.

Scripture, as always, offers guidance. Recruiting and leading new disciples is like managing employees in an organization – or even parenting, for that matter! The roles are defined. They change over time, as those being led grow and change. Ideally, at the end, the proteges transform into evangelists themselves.

If you seek to follow the Great Commission, know these roles you’ll fulfill:

The Caregiver

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.Proverbs 22:6

Young children need everything. They’re entirely dependent on their parents. Taking care of children early can seem like an endurance test. No doubt, being a parent is a blessing – one that can be totally, utterly exhausting, especially in the first few years.

Similarly, new employees in an organization need lots of care. They must learn everything, from job expectations to finding the restrooms. A supervisor must ensure they have the tools to fly, not flounder.

Someone new to faith has lots of questions. They are not sure how to trust God, or follow His directives on living a holy life. An evangelist should lead the new disciple in spiritual growth, to a point where they can speak confidently of faith and its all-encompassing role.

The Cop

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”Ephesians 6:1

The early years can be a tough time for kids. No longer toddlers, they are ready to explore the world – except they must follow rules. Understanding and accepting them is cause for many tantrums. A parent finds themselves having to enforce the rules, often with challenging results.

An evangelist, obviously, can’t “enforce” God’s will onto somebody. They can live by example, though, and call out behavior that doesn’t fit. Will a new disciple stay the course? Maybe the answer depends on how well they’ve been taught thus far.

The Coach

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.Proverbs 22:6

A new employee in this phase is taking on more responsibilities. They’re up to speed on policies and practices. They just need oversight.

A child is being allowed to try new things. Perhaps they can ride their bike in the street, or cut the grass with a lawnmower. Similarly, they’re (hopefully) allowed to experience mistakes from their decisions.

A new disciple who’s made it this far still needs encouragement, and some gentle wayfinding. Maybe it’s introducing them to other members of a church, where they can build new relationships and get further involved. Or directing them to a ministry that seems suited to their unique talents?

The Consultant

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”Ephesians 2:18

The bird has flown.

A child has grown up. An employee has been promoted, or changed jobs. A disciple is immersed in faith, and sharing with those around.

Still, kids will still call their parents for advice later in life. An employee might reach out to someone they viewed as a mentor for career guidance.

A disciple should continue to know the Bible deeper, and faithfully follow the Holy Spirit as their guide in life. Perhaps a Bible study, or other exercise in deepening faith, could be suggested?

Keeping the Roles Straight

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” – 1 Timothy 3:4-5

These roles aren’t just for show. They’re about developing people. Following them in succession builds trust.

A leader’s main job is to move people into the Consultant phase as quickly as possible. Get them to a point where they can fully function on their own. If they occasionally need consultation or a quick refresher, it’s OK.

This is where Christ’s disciples found themselves, 2,000 years ago. Jesus was gone, though His spirit remained all-powerful. The disciples had purpose, which Christ had instilled in them. They knew their roles – which we should too, in life and business, so that God’s Kingdom can thrive.(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C-Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Join us as a member. Plant a chapter where you live. Consider becoming a corporate partner. Follow C-Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or

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