I was chatting with a good friend several weeks ago on what is required for someone to be able to make a disciple. I gave him the best answer I could think of, indicating that 3 key things stood out to me. They are:
- Grasping the fundamentals of the faith and what it means to be disciple
- Living a life worth imitating
- Having the ability to articulate what it means to be a disciple and being able to teach it to others
As I reflected on my response I realized that the 2nd point is where the rubber meets the road and where the true meat of making disciples lies. Paul indicates this in 1 Corinthians 4: 15 – 16
“For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
In the spiritual sense, it is fathers who can say “imitate me.”
Those who can’t say this are just guides or as another translation puts it just teachers. It’s worth thinking through those 3 points listed above, but it’s even more critical to reflect on if we have a life worth imitating. Are you a father or just a teacher?
Related Post: Living The Calling as Christians
Is your mantra do as I say, not as I do?
I have a 15 month old daughter and it’s amazing to see how she imitates me. Whether we like it or not people close to us are akin to imitate us. Imagine walking into a formal restaurant set with cutleries for a 3 course meal. If this is not the usual for you, you probably look around your table or the restaurant for cues on which cutlery to use for what. I know I have. It’s no different for a young believer in the faith whom you might have the benefit to influence. A lot is brand new to them and they look to you for cues on how a disciple should live.
This is not about acting perfect, but rather being an example in thought, speech and actions. Give a moment to think about this.
Is there something that jumps out to you in your life that is probably not worth imitating?
- Figure out why God may be putting His finger on this and discuss with someone you trust in the faith
- Then work with someone who can hold you accountable to a plan to act on what you sense needs to change
And with that we can take another step into living a life worth imitating