The Discipleship Network Interview: John Kieffer

The Discipleship Network Interview

How would you define discipleship? 

If a disciple is a learning, loyal follower of Jesus Christ, then discipleship is the process of training people to listen to Jesus and obey all that He has commanded. 

The scriptures teach us that faith without works is dead. I define true faith as belief, trust, and obedience. I believe that our methodology comes from our Theology; what we believe determines what we do. In other words, our lifestyles reflect what we really believe. We know that there is a strong relationship between our behaviour and what we believe. In fact, studies show we can change our brain chemistry and wiring by changing our behavior. This is why it is so very important that we are not just hearers of the Word, but doers. Lifestyle and belief are intrinsically connected. 


What is more important, what a disciple believes or their lifestyle?

Romans 12:2 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." 



What are the unique challenges of discipling younger generations?
Some of the unique challenges of discipling younger generations are overcoming apathy and the constant distractions for both the youth and those who would seek to disciple the next generation. It requires a passion and focus on both parts. Only God can give us this heart to want to know Him and attention to see and listen to what He is up to. We must choose to keep our eyes fixed on Him and encourage our young disciples to do the same. 


Discipleship and worship ...

Worship means to bow down and to serve. Learning to reverence The Lord in all things and to see all of life as an opportunity to serve Him is a lifelong process. My dad used to say, "my work is worship." As a maintenance man, he saw every task as an opportunity to worship. My dad was discipling me all along and we didn't even know it. 



Discipleship and fellowship ...

Fellowship means to share all things in common. Jesus commanded us to love one another even as He loves us. The disciples who finished writing the New Testament give us the "one anothers." All the "one anothers" in Scripture are to be done in community and relationship with each other. This is what it means to love one another. This is not optional for the true follower of Jesus. This is the new commandment that we must obey. Learning to faithfully obey this command is the work of a disciple. Only by abiding in Christ and experiencing His love, acceptance and forgiveness will we be able to fulfill the "one another" commands of the New Testament. This is true fellowship, not just sharing what The Lord is doing in your life over coffee, but sharing all of life together as fellow followers. We use our Spiritual Gifts to build each up in the faith!



Discipleship and leadership ...

Leadership as defined by Jesus is completely opposite of what the world thinks. As "Christians," we often adopt the worldly and carnal understanding and practice of leadership but we put "Christian" terms like "servant leader" on it. This is the worse kind of hypocrisy. Jesus warned against giving people titles of honor (Matthew 23:8-12). Jesus emptied Himself and took on the role of a slave (Philippians 2:5-8) to model leadership for His disciples. We need to go back to His method of leadership and discipleship. 



Discipleship and stewardship ...

Discipleship is all about modeling Christlike behavior and character. Stewardship is all about managing, taking care of, and utilizing the many gifts that God has given us for His glory. Jesus said in Luke 16:10-12 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?" In the Kingdom of God, riches are of the smallest and least value. Discipleship is learning to faithfully manage the smallest of gifts so He can entrust things of greater Kingdom value. 


Discipleship and citizenship ...

Jesus prayed for us in John 17:18: “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." He went on to pray in John 17:21 "that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." Our responsibility as citizens in our neighborhoods, community and world is to: 1. Pray - Listen to the Holy Spirit for how to pray for people and how He would have you love and serve them. 2. Care - Love your neighbor as yourself. 3. Share - Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. Discipleship is simply learning to pray, care and share under the direction and in the power of the Holy Spirit. 



What scripture best communicates your perspective of discipleship?

John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." Hear, know and follow. Listen, love and obey. Pray, care and share. 

Tell us about John Kieffer - - 
Since 1982, I had served a local congregation as an Elder, Pastor and Community Executive Director as well as serving North East Wisconsin as a Servant Leader for Pastors Prayer Summits. Since 2011 I have been the WI State Facilitator of City Community Ministries for the Mission America Coalition.
My burden is to call our communities together into a faithful response to Jesus’ Great Commission and Commandment. Let’s together finish the job of seeing people reconciled to God through Jesus Christ!
I am excited and eager to serve as the Mission America Coalition Wisconsin State Facilitator because I get to see God at work and join Him in uniting the Body of Christ in prayer, to care for and share with every man, woman and child in our wonderful state, and to see us preparing and sending His people to finish the Great Commission.
Find me at LinkedIn or Zip 54915


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