Costly in Vulnerability to Exposure. Paul wrote to Timothy: Paul wrote to Timothy: “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me” (2 Tim. 3:10‐11 KJV). In the Phillips translation, this same verse reads: “But you, Timothy, have known intimately both what I have taught and how I have lived. My purpose and my faith are not secrets to you. You saw my endurance and love and patience as I met all those persecutions and difficulties.
You can’t hide from the one you are helping. The one you are helping will see your feet of clay. A disciple will know your weaknesses because on an eyeball‐to‐eyeball basis, there is no place to hide.
Costly in That You Will Be Tunneling While Others Are Climbing. Jeremiah said to Baruch, “And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not” (Jer. 45:5 KJV). You will have to tunnel while others climb. But tunneling is usually not very dangerous. When you climb, sometimes rocks are kicked off and hit the people coming behind, but in tunneling usually anyone can safely follow. Discipling People is a tunneling ministry.
Costly in Seeing Your Weaknesses Reproduced. As it is in nature, so it is true in the Spirit: we produce in kind.
This is why “cross training” is so important. This happens naturally in the church through the numerous relationships made in Sunday school and in the worship services. In cross training the disciple gets spiritual help from others besides you, so that not all of your weaknesses are reproduced in that one. What Samuel learned as a little boy in Eli’s family (bad habits of child‐rearing), he reproduced in his own children. Then, at the end of Samuel’s life the people saw the grave weaknesses in his children and asked that his children not be the rulers over them. A king had to be chosen from elsewhere. We do reproduce in kind.
Costly in Your life. This is the main price we pay if we are going to disciple people. God said through Isaiah to his people Israel: “Since thou was precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (43:4 KJV.) That is exactly what it will cost you‐ your life.
– From “Making Disciples,” Gene Warr. Used by permission of the author.