Hope and Discipleship for the Prodigal

Fred had turned away from God, divorced his wife, and had other struggles. Finally he realized that he wanted to be restored. He started going to church and met a Navigator, Dale Coffing. Dale describes Fred’s desire for discipleship: “We started meeting every week, reading the Bible together, praying together, and Fred started radically changing. He was ready to grow deeper and follow God.”

As Fred’s life was restored, he also considered pursuing other relationships. Dale exhorted Fred to consider his ex-wife. “If you feel like God wants you to be in a relationship, what about your ex-wife? Could you get back together with her?”

Fred reflected on this idea and got in touch with his ex-wife. Eventually they started dating. After much growth and healing, they got remarried. She is also in a women’s small group at church and receiving encouragement from believers. Their lives have been renewed as a result of Fred’s decision to follow Jesus.

Along the way, Fred’s friends saw positive changes. He shared the Scripture memory and discipleship materials that helped him follow Jesus. Fred’s friend, Steven, also wanted to be discipled by Dale, but Dale encouraged Fred to disciple Steven, to multiply the ministry.

Steven shares about the difference in his life, “I started learning my verses and meeting with Fred weekly. I realized that life change was what this was really all about; the Bible verses were just a tool. A couple of months later I started meeting with another friend of mine, Randy. A miracle started to happen right before my eyes, I watched Randy start to change as he was memorizing and applying the very same verses that I had only learned months before. If all of us just disciple one or two guys, we can change the world!”

Now both Fred and Steven are each discipling two other men. The impact of these discipling relationships has created spiritual generations that are reaching far beyond two people.

As Dale reflects over what God is doing in these men’s spiritual lives, he sees a full circle of discipleship with the Navigator who first discipled him—Rob Mahon. Dale shares, “Before I was a believer, Rob Mahon, now Albuquerque city director, started meeting with me and sharing the truth of Jesus. When I came to faith, Rob discipled me, now I am discipling these men, who are discipling others. So four generations of disciples have come from our initial relationship. Generational discipleship is the heart of our ministry in Albuquerque.”

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