As a church family we are frequently reminded of God’s love for us displayed in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus which we are baptised into. We are also frequently reminded of what that means for our life now and for eternity. That we have been saved by grace through faith for a purpose, that purpose being the Great Command (love God and love others) and the Great Commission (go and make disciples, baptising and teaching ‘here, there and everywhere’).
I have recently heard a great conversation on a podcast of a page that I follow (*details at the end) regarding the “disciples” part of the Great Commission we are joining God in mission with.
Simply put, a “disciple” is a follower. In “Bible times” a “disciple” would follow a Rabi (or “teacher”) to hear their teachings and to emulate their way of life. Christians or “disciples of Jesus”, you and I included, are therefore followers of Jesus who live to hear his teachings and emulate his life. We do this by listening to his words through the word, the Bible, and by looking at other faithful Christian’s lives to also learn from their faith and emulate their life of faith. Afterall, Paul told us to do just this when he said to the Corinthian church to “imitate me, as I imitate Christ”.
So, we are to disciple and also be a disciple, which begs the question, who is discipling you?
Some wonderful points from the podcast I mentioned earlier give some ideas in finding someone to disciple you, someone who reflect Jesus to you as you spend time with them, in your Christian journey:
· Pray. Ask God to bring someone to mind as you meditate on this, or someone to cross paths with you in a way that it is very clear that this is someone you could spend time with and learn from regarding a life that makes much of Jesus, a life that images God truthfully. Someone you can look to and go, “their life looks like Jesus and I want to follow that”.
· Be an active member of your church community. The New Testament says that the church community is where discipleship happens. That, as a Christian family, we gather because we want to be on mission with Jesus to make his name known as we become more like him. Therefore, we want to be around others who do that so that we can do that more and help others also.
· Watch other people’s faith. Notice the reactions of and spend time with people who trust in the Lord and make the most of Jesus when tough things happen. What does it look like when they trust in Jesus when a loved one dies, or when they get terrible health news, or they lose a job or their response to some other significant life event.
· Notice who knows, reads and teaches their Bible in truth and with integrity. Who spends time in their Bible? Who, when they talk, you can hear Biblical truth?
· Look for “stage of life”. If you’re about to get married, find a married couple whose marriage looks like a marriage that is faith filled and what you would love to have. If you are having kids, a home where the kids are loved and treasured and love Jesus. If retiring, a retiree who joyfully makes much of Jesus in retirement. If a teen, a young adult whose faith carried them through their teens towards joy in their life of faith. Etc.
· Look for someone who shares their faith life openly and in an encouraging way. Someone who speaks about God’s goodness and God getting them through tough times openly and honestly.
Then…approach them and make time for a coffee and just get to know them.
And…if you are approached…make time for them and get to know the one who approached you over a coffee.
God bless you as we continue on this journey of “Knowing Christ and Making Christ Known” together.
In His service,
*Key part of the book: How Can I Find Someone to Disciple Me? By Garrett Kell, discussed by author and panel on 9Marks website titled “On How Can I Find Someone to Disciple Me? (Garrett Kell & Mike McKinley), “Pastors Talk, Ep.173”.