HARRISBURG – I enjoy the rich heritage of a loving, nurturing family. Jesus-followers all, my parents and grandparents taught me, by both their words and their actions, what it means to trust in and live for Him. They also involved me in caring for others, as an expression of my love for Jesus and for them.
From my earliest memories in Sunday School, I remember singing “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World” and, in my child’s mind, reasoning that if Jesus loved all the children like He loved me, and they didn’t know it, then I needed to tell them! I started in Kindergarten, with my teacher and classmates.
By the time I experienced salvation at age nine, I was a disciple making disciples.
Several years ago, I read an e-book by Dave Ferguson entitled, Discover Your Mission Now.
In his book, Ferguson makes discipleship as simple as 1-2-3. He uses the acronym B.L.E.S.S. to help his readers remember five basic actions we can take to grow as disciples as well as to make disciples of others.
In recent days, I’ve adapted B.L.E.S.S. to fit our PASJ context and am teaching it as often as I have opportunity. A disciple who makes disciples will:
- B = Begin with prayer. Learn to listen for the Holy Spirit and heed His voice.
- L = Look, listen and love. Mirror the character of God. Exegete your setting and express love in contextually-meaningful ways, using words of affirmation, acts of service, the giving of gifts, quality time or physical touch.
- E = Eat with others. Use Jesus’ method of sharing a meal with people to go beyond surface relationships with them.
- S = Study Jesus. Develop the mind of Christ and prepare to tell His story.
- S = Self-identify as a Sent-one. Recognize, reflect upon and record all the ways you’ve seen God use you to bring His Kingdom to the world.
It’s discipleship so simple even a child could do it.
In fact, I propose that we use this simple formula to teach the children in our families and churches. What if you and I started small groups of young B.L.E.S.S.-ers, set them up to B.L.E.S.S. others and celebrated weekly what they were learning and doing? What if we really believed, and fostered the truth, that children as young as five or nine can be disciples who make disciples?
If you would like to learn more about the B.L.E.S.S. Strategy for discipleship (for children or adults), contact me at or 717-652-5856.