One Disciplemaker Impacts Many

Zara (Joykutty) Kenigsberg didn’t understand the concept of spiritual generations until she walked into Jodi Heen’s house for a going-away party. 

Four women, in dresses, holding flowers and posing in front trees. The second woman is wearing a wedding dress.

“I was struck by the number of people in her little living room,” Zara says, who at the time was a freshman. “Jodi invited everybody that she had discipled and asked them to invite those they had discipled—displaying a beautiful illustration of spiritual generations.” Spiritual generations form when one person disciples another, who then disciples someone else, and the pattern continues. 

Zara’s connection to Jodi had been minimal. However, Ariana (Banks) George—the woman who discipled Zara—had a more direct discipleship relationship with Jodi. 

How Discipleship Can Look Different

Today, Zara recalls how each discipling relationship impacted her differently—Ariana, Shelby Langford, and Nicole Eiland. 

“Ariana intentionally met with me doing Life-to-Life® discipleship every week for my first two years of college,” Zara says. “She had a front-row seat as I understood the gospel for the first time. It was through her friendship that I understood how discipleship wasn’t solely reading the Bible with someone.”

As a new believer and sophomore, Zara felt called to disciple a new freshman named Nicole. 

“This was not at all what I expected,” Zara says. “I thought I’d need to explain the gospel, like Ariana had with me. I quickly discovered she already knew the gospel. I had no idea what to do next.”

Ariana encouraged Zara to keep showing up for Nicole. Zara realized she didn’t need to have all the answers and could be a friend who encouraged Nicole in her relationship with Jesus. 

From that point, Zara and Nicole met weekly, sometimes to run errands and other times for a meal and reading the Bible together. This Life-to-Life® form of discipleship was about walking through day-to-day life together, intentionally looking to grow in Christ and help others do the same. 

“These times grew our friendship,” Zara says. “It was special to be that person for her and watch God change her heart.”

Shelby Langford, Navigators Collegiate staff, discipled Zara her last two years of college. Regardless of the situation, Shelby always directed her back to the Bible for answers. 

“Shelby cultivated my love for Scripture and belief that God wanted to speak to me through His Word,” Zara says. 

Why Discipleship is Worth the Investment 

Zara has recently relocated to Colorado Springs with her husband, Matthew, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in psychology. 

While the women who have discipled her and she’s discipled no longer live nearby, Zara stays connected with them and even had them in her wedding party. 

“I realize there can be a lot of uncertainty in pursuing discipleship relationships,” Zara says, “but what comes out of the relationship is worth the vulnerability of asking someone.” 

Discipleship Tip:  

Zara was one of many who benefited from Jodi’s heart for discipleship. Zara wasn’t directly discipled by Jodi, but through others who had been discipled by her. They passed what they received on to those in their circle of influence. Take a moment to reflect on your spiritual heritage. Pray that the Lord will show you who you can pass your faith to by simply asking if you can pray together as a first step.

How to Disciple Others!

Would you like to help others grow in their relationship with Jesus? You, too, can be a disciplemaker like Zara and influence many. In our FREE Digital Discipleship Journey we offer a customized experience to help you invite your friends to follow Jesus with you. This curated email series is designed to help you grow spiritually, based on your answers to some brief questions about your walk with God. Click the link below to start your journey today!

Watch the full video featuring Zara Joykutty here:

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