Kendal Anderson is a leader in C&YA, ministers in the prison ministry and is an active discipler. Kendal’s testimony is a huge encouragement to our fellowship, particularly how God’s word has changed his life. He shares his testimony of how the process of discipleship impacted him.
Discipleship's effect in my life can be defined by Philip's conversation with the Ethiopian eunuch found in Acts 8.
Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 and he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
...it was as if the scriptures were painting a picture that I couldn't make out.
Before discipleship, I was the eunuch before meeting Philip. Upon my salvation I found myself with a desire to read the Bible and knew that it contained a message of God's words to me. I read and read, yet I always knew something was missing. It was as if the scriptures were painting a picture that I couldn't make out; it was always too blurry to see, and especially too blurry to look at as a map to live my life by.
Looking back I see clearly what the problem was. I never had a Philip to guide me to understand what I was reading. I spent years of my Christian walk without stepping foot in a church. The one church I did attend for a year never instructed me in scripture beyond quoting it before a sermon, much less did a believer with understanding ever sit in my chariot with me and guide me through the word of God. In my blindness I even read past scriptures repeatedly pointed out to me that I needed to be taught, particularly in Matthew 28.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
If Jesus commanded His disciples to teach, that means I was being commanded to be taught. But I ignored that command, only to struggle vainly trying to understand scripture and apply it to my life all on my own.
...I began to see the word of God as the absolute authority in my life: unquestionable, clear, and true
Everything changed when I got involved in Midtown Baptist Temple and the discipleship program. Suddenly I had a Philip next to me, guiding me through the Bible. Day by day the picture that the Bible proclaims became clearer and clearer; I had someone who saw the picture clearly describing to me exactly what it looked like, bringing my attention to important details, showing me how it all fit together, and what it meant for my life. I began to see the word of God as the absolute authority in my life: unquestionable, clear, and true, for this is exactly what it proclaims to be and has been taught to be from the beginning. Instead of having a cloudy book that I knew God was part of, I now had a Holy Bible that was inspired by God as an intentional message from God to man, and to me.
To have not only this guidance in scripture but also to have the intimate fellowship of a discipler was life-altering. I had a man who served the Lord faithfully pouring their prayer, attention, and love into me. This accompanied by my newfound understanding of scripture began a rapid change in my life.
My sin now stood out like a sore thumb—no longer something I could wave away, but something I needed to react to in accountability and obedience. The Holy Spirit had all of the tools He wanted to use in my life to conform me to the image of Christ, and that is exactly what He did.
Day in and day out I committed to stay faithful to prayer, reading, and involvement in the discipleship lessons and I began waking up in the mornings feeling less and less drawn to the things of this world and more greatly desiring the things of the Lord.