The word “disciple” incites different thoughts in all of us. For some it means an apprentice, for others it means one of the 12 guys that followed Jesus all over the place. I’ve had a thought on discipleship recently that probably isn’t new, but needs to be brought up.
When you look up the definition of a disciple, the result is “a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.”
Jesus said for us to go make disciples. How? Do we chase after new Christians and nag them to death in order to get them to become a disciple? What makes one decide to become a disciple?
I believe many of us go about this in a way that is counter-productive. We are to reproduce followers of Christ – not followers of ourselves or even of our ministry. As we grow and become “spititual” we tend to think people should fall at our feet because we are something great.
We need to remember whose followers WE are so that we can reproduce that relationship in others. Paul said it best in I Corinthians 11:1… “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ”. A disciple isn’t someone who is following ME to be like ME. A disciple should be someone who is only following me because they want to imitate the Christ in me!
I relate it like a good marriage. You know the kind, they’ve been married for several years… they are affectionate, and have that sparkle in their eyes they had when they were first married… they aren’t shallow… he takes care of her, and she takes care of him. They make you sick – go ahead and admit it now! However, you and your wife get alone after seeing them and the first thing you say to each other is “Our marriage should be like that!” This is how our relationship with the Lord should inspire others! When we win a soul to Christ, and when they see that relationship we have with Christ and the results and fruit that come from that relationship they exlaim “I want to know God like you know Him!”
I know there are lots of “star-struck” Christians who follow their leaders because of what they do, however, many great men and women of God are not followed because of their fame or their position – I don’t even believe it’s their “anointing” that people are after. In reality, people want to walk with God in the level that they see these leaders walk.
On the flip side – there are those who are running around star struck and chasing a gift and are missing the whole point! There are thousands of people who flock to the “great” preachers who are seeing signs and wonders in their ministry so they can get this great preacher’s mantle and do the same thing. They always leave disappointed. Why? Because they won’t see the relationship with God that “great” preacher has with God and only see the cool stuff “they” can do.
I believe we are living in a day where people are no longer content with powerless, passionless, and even meaningless “Christianity.” This world needs genuine examples of a relationship with God. Are we going to show them a vibrant relationship, or are we going to show them duty and routine? Are we going to dumb-down our walk with God to make it easier for others to walk with Him, or are we going to step it up to inspire others to go higher?
They are everywhere – waiting for the real thing. Waiting to see “genuine” relationships with God. Show them it can be done! Let your relationship with the Lord cause them to WANT to be followers of Christ!