3 Ways Discipleship Transforms Lives

Henry Kitiabi longed to grow and be challenged in his Christian faith as he was when he lived in Kenya. 

“I attribute my foundation in Christ to these two brothers who were a part of the Fellowship of Christian Unions campus ministry in Kenya,” Henry says. “They would be at my door at 5 a.m. to help me wake up and go for morning prayer organized by this ministry. They gave me the basics for reading God’s Word, prayer, and fasting. They would call and text me until I was firm in my relationship with Jesus and could start discipling others.”

When he moved to Athens, Georgia, he wanted to continue his spiritual growth and mentoring others, while completing his Ph.D in Public Health at the University of Georgia (UGA). A friend introduced him to Sam Manthi who is also from Kenya and pursuing a Ph.D. in Horticulture at UGA. 

Sam knew what it was like to be in a different country and culture. He had been there, but quickly connected with Dustin Butler, a Navigators staff and Associate Director of the Noblemen, a ministry focused on godly manhood and how to live that out in all aspects of their lives. Dustin discipled Sam and encouraged him to invest in someone else when Henry came along. 

Sam invited Henry to join the Noblemen. This became a group where Henry could once again be encouraged and challenged in his Christian faith. 

“This group renewed me,” Henry says. “I’m grateful to benefit from discipleship through Dustin and Sam.” 

All three men recognize the ways discipleship transforms their lives. 

Intentionally Leading Your Family

Henry is a new father to a baby boy, Sam has a 3-year-old son, and Dustin has two young children. With busy schedules, they each realize how important it is to intentionally pour God’s love and quality time into their marriages and families. 

“As much as I’m trying to reach out to men,” Sam says, “I need to look within my family and ask how I’m directing my son and loving my wife as Christ loved the Church. It’s important to realize this is where it all starts.”

Henry and his wife spent a majority of their first six months of their marriage apart as he needed to prepare their transition to the U.S. before she arrived. While this wasn’t easy, he recognizes how being discipled has encouraged him as a leader in his family. 

“Through discipleship, I wanted to focus on how to really love my wife, to understand and know her,” Henry says. “I’m learning how to lead, serve, and provide, especially as we welcomed our first child.”

Changing Your Habits Through Scripture Memory 

Galatians 2:20 is one of Sam’s favorite Scriptures that he memorized through The Navigators Topical Memory System (TMS). Memorizing Scripture became a catalyst for his spiritual growth through being discipled by Noblemen. It changed the way he spent his time around what matters most. 

“When I memorized Scripture and meditated upon it,” Sam says, “I’d be in situations and realize through Scriptures, This is what God is telling me!

Sam started picking up the TMS verse cards whenever he had a free moment. The more he did this, the more energized he became about growing in Christ and even sharing these Scriptures with others. This changed some former habits. 

“When I have free time, I’m looking at my TMS,” Sam says. “I used to look at my phone or even social media. Now, I want to look at my TMS and memorize Scripture.”  

Starting Spiritual Conversations With Your Co-Worker 

Being discipled through Noblemen challenged Sam to take the first step in starting conversations about faith even when he’s scared. While working, he felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to ask his co-worker about his faith. They had talked before, but never about Christianity. 

“I directly asked if he was a Christian,” Sam says. “We’re very direct in Kenya, which is different from discipleship in the U.S. He said he was a Christian, but hadn’t been to church in a while. This gave me the opportunity to invite him to a Bible study. It’s encouraging to continue asking him questions when we meet at work.”

Sam sees how taking the first step will easily lead to the next because the Holy Spirit will give you the words to speak. 

Even though Sam and Henry currently live in Georgia, they still find intentional time for discipleship conversations with young men in Kenya via technology. They both desire to follow God’s lead after they finish their studies, but could see themselves back in Kenya and sharing Jesus in the workplace there. 

“Being a public health specialist,” Henry says, I could find myself anywhere. I want to be a Christian in the marketplace and show it through my life. Through that there might be an opportunity to speak to someone and introduce them to Christ. You never know who that person will be someday and who they may reach. They may reach thousands.”

Discipleship Tip:  

All you need are index cards and your Bible to get started today. Look up your favorite verses and write them out on index cards with a topic on the top. Tape one of the verse cards to your mirror so at morning and night you can memorize it.

3 Ways Discipleship Transforms Lives | The Navigators Collegiate Ministry | Having Lunch on Campus

Comments:

  1. I’m so glad to find out about this memory of Scripture as an important part of the Navigators. I’ve asked someone on the phone at The Navigators and they didn’t know if Scripture memorization was a part of the program. I knew that Dawson Trotman your founder, made that the most important part of their training, so I hoped you had the emphasis placed there still. I feel it is key to any new Christian’s training and strength.

  2. During Covid our church sponsored zoom connection kept our women’s study on track in discipling each other. Last summer we decided to start the TMS with the Wheel Illustration packet, taking 2 verses per week, looking at the context, applying each verse to ourselves and discussing how to understand and do what it says. We are now beginning the Bridge Illustration packet. This has led to much more depth of understanding, knowing who Christ is and how to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice as we navigate life. Jim Downing’s book on Meditation has also been a great help. Thank you for all the wonderful resources.

  3. Great post and stories!

    Two highlights for me. One is that Henry was first discipled in fasting, prayer, and the Word. I think too often discipleship doesn’t include enough training in prayer or fasting; therefore, disciples are often lacking intimacy with God and power to be transformed or to minister to others. I love that Henry was strengthened by others guys who were able to wake him up for 5am prayer, which means they already had a lifestyle of prayer in the mornings.

    In Mark 4, the seeds that Jesus throws are only fruitful in one soil. I believe prayer and fasting prepare the hearts of young disciples to be that one soil.

    Second highlight is that Henry recognized and then prioritized discipleship within his family. Yes, we must reach the lost, but not at the neglect of the ones God has put within our very homes. I think Henry is on track, and those that discipled him did a great job guiding him to these values!

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