Many of us think of discipleship in terms of a course, class or curriculum. This is unfortunate. The reason I say this is that discipleship is a highly relational lifestyle. Jesus chose twelve men “that they might be with Him.” (Mark 3:14) Then, as His twelve disciples followed Him around, He showed them by example what it means to be His follower (or disciple).
Yes, Jesus taught His disciples too, but if you read through the Gospels, most of His personal teaching was in a boat, on a mountain, walking through a grain field, in a house, etc. His teachings were primarily focused on how to live and He gave them in the context of living.
In this way, Jesus demonstrated how to make disciples of others. So it should be no surprise to us when Paul says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) Paul also tells Timothy not to worry about the fact that he’s young, “but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Making disciples is highly relational. Making disciples is representing Christ to others through our life and words.
I was reading 2 Timothy one morning and chapter 1, verse 5 caught my attention. There, Paul reminds Timothy that the faith in Christ he has today is largely a result of the faith that Timothy’s mother and grandmother modeled for him.
After reading that, I began thinking about all those who modeled Christ for me:
- My parents
- The McClellan brothers who were two carpenters who led a Boys Brigade program
- My sixth-grade Sunday school teacher, Buzz Sawyer
- My senior-high Sunday school teacher, Dick Plaep
- The Youth for Christ director, Larry Anderson
- Two guys (whose names I can’t remember) that I worked with in a warehouse in Minneapolis
And there have been many others. I’m so thankful for them and how they demonstrated for me through their lives and words what it means to follow Jesus. In fact, over the past few years I’ve made it a point to find these influencers and disciple-makers in my life and thank them for representing Christ to me.
Let me challenge us to do two things:
- Write down the names of those people who
represented Christ to you and try to contact them and thank them for their positive
influence in your life.
- Live your life and speak your words in such a way that you are representing Christ well for others. In fact, pray each day that God would use you to represent Him to others through your life and words.
©2019 Rob Fischer