Elizabeth DeLuca asks the question, “How are the worlds in which we live shaped by the ways that households are thought and made? How does the scale of the household shape the spatial and temporal scales at which we claim belonging and responsibility?”
Disciple-making establishes a person’s familial connection to her heavenly Father, Jesus, and to her spiritual siblings. The setting in which we make disciples will shape our disciple. The classroom creates students, a laboratory develops scientists, a bootcamp produces disciplined soldiers, and the familial forms disciples of Jesus.
Since love is the mark of a disciple of Jesus then an ideal place to form disciples is in the context of love in a physical family and/or a spiritual family. The family reflects the essence of God as a loving Father with His Son. God the Father relates to us as his children and Jesus relates to us as his brothers and sisters. “. . .that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29; “So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11
It is through the bond with a mother, father, and siblings that a person learns how to connect with God, but for many their families are dysfunctional or even toxic. For those that come from broken families, the disciple-maker should engraft her disciple into a spiritual family so that she can experience healthy connection with a spiritual father, mother, and brothers and sisters, because it is our love for our brothers and sisters that is evidence that we are maturing as a disciple of Jesus. The apostle Paul and his team made disciples by traveling around initiating these spiritual families, demonstrating familial love, and then later nurturing these communities by letters and visits. Paul explains, “We were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8
Where to from here:
- Listen to the story of the homelife of your disciple to discover how her relationship with her parents maybe an emotional blocker to her relationship with the heavenly Father.
- Explore your disciple’s relationship with his siblings. Does he project his attitude towards his brothers and sisters to Jesus?
- Encourage your disciple to meet with other disciples of Jesus and seek to build a brotherly or sisterly relationship with them.