Discipleship helping others become all they can be in Christ
Many of us can remember a person in our lives who played a significant role in the development of who we are today.
For me, there were several. They included my grandfather, my dad, and an old carpenter.
My grandfather taught me through his example, how to lovingly serve other people by sacrificially giving of his time. I remember as a boy, sitting on the porch with my Pap, listening to southern gospel music, and simply feeling secure in his presence. He loved me, and that was all I needed to know.
My dad taught me the value of being a good friend, regardless of financial status, and without the “what is in this for me” attitude. Dad would take time to help anyone at any time, and he always did whatever needed to be done without grumbling or complaining.
Not once did I hear my dad speak a negative word about his friends. He enjoyed being with people, and others enjoyed being around him.
Dad was a good example to me in serving others without expecting something in return. He also showed me by his example, how to have fun, and how to make the most of even awkward situations.
The old carpenter taught me how to work hard, and see a project through to the end. He would often use his Saturday mornings as an opportunity to show me how to use the tools of his trade; he invested his time in me. He wanted to make sure that I knew how to put in an honest day’s work, and reap the benefits of a job well done.
It was his desire to teach me how to work, and it was his example of workmanship that has become a creative outlet for me to express my creativity and passion with woodworking.
Each one of these men had a goal in mind when they looked at me. That goal was to see a pudgy little boy become a man.
I look back on these three men, and see how God used them to disciple me into the man that I am today.
I look at the church, in general, and see a magnificent opportunity to invest in the lives of people.
We talk about having a personal relationship with Christ. That is significant in the process of knowing we have eternal life, but we often assume that when a person is saved, they automatically know all they need to know about walking with Christ.
There is a flaw in that sort of thinking. Seeing people saved from sin is an awesome joy in ministry. Seeing them grow in their relationship with their Savior is an even better joy.
One thing that I have been excited about in recent weeks, is knowing that I have a role to play in helping others become all they can be in Christ. That takes commitment and dedication to a lifestyle of discipleship.
George Barna, in his book, “Growing True Disciples,” said, “Discipleship is not a program. It is not a ministry. It is a lifelong commitment to a lifestyle.”
Isn’t it time that the church gets passionate about believers walking closely with Christ? Isn’t it time that we get back to the basics of serving one another in love? Isn’t it time that we get off the kick of “bigger is better,” and “if only” we had more worship space?
I say, we invest in the lives of people, and see them grow in their walk with Christ. I say, we start loving as Christ loved and served others. I say, we forget about mega worship centers, and focus on the ones doing the worship.
The most rewarding thing that we can do as followers of Jesus Christ is to invest in the life of another person who is eager to learn more about becoming an effective follower of Jesus. Jesus, Himself, set a great example for us in the book of John, when he called his very first disciples.
“The next day, John was there again, with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’ When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, ‘What do you want?’ They said, ‘Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying?’ ‘Come,’ he replied, ‘and you will see.’” (John 1 :35-39)
There are three basic applications in this passage about becoming a follower of Jesus. One, we need to see Jesus; that comes as we repent and seek forgiveness of our sins.
Two, we need to walk with Jesus; that comes as we choose to follow Him.
And third, we need to hear Him call us to “come and see.” That comes as we see life as a continuous time of learning what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
This is where we need each other. This is not an “alone” time. Jesus taught his disciples to follow him in community, not in isolation.
Being a follower of Jesus is more than a one-time event. When we place our faith in Christ, alone, for salvation, we commit our lives to a lifelong pursuit of becoming more like Christ. It is a process that cannot be done alone. You and I need to have others who can help us develop in our relationship with Him.
Think about your own life where are you in the journey? Are you making an impact on others, or are you the one being impacted?
Wherever you are in the process, don’t stop there keep pressing on for His glory. And remember that you can have a role to play in the life of someone else.
Let’s stand up and be counted as men and women of Christ who are passionate about seeing believers become mature in their relationship with Jesus. After all, becoming like Christ is a lifelong process.