One of the greatest joys of any sort of ministry is to see lights going on in people’s head. It’s a privilege always to hear yourself reflected in the words and actions of those you’ve helped disciple and shape. On reflection over a number of years, this ranks up there with people getting saved. Getting saved, the transition from darkness to light is simply something significant in the whole process of discipleship which often starts before conversion (it did with some of Jesus disciples!) The flip side of that, of course, is that we can be bad examples as much as good. We all need the Lords help in this.
Thing is – I’ve said it before and will say it again – discipleship is an intentional process. You don’t become a disciple and develop as a disciple by mistake or indeed by the passing of time. The word discipline is closely related to disciple – we walk in the way, the discipline, of Jesus. Apprenticeship is a better word these days than disciple – it implies an ongoing life process. Another phrase going around is ‘whole-life discipleship’ which again is useful as it both implies that our whole lives come under the sway of Jesus and that this is a life-long journey.
Alan Hirsch says that so much of our discipleship is ‘Greek’ – that is, we try to think our way into new ways of acting. however, the Hebrew concept is that we act ourselves into new ways of thinking. This is the whole thing going on in the rabbi-disciple relationship. You follow a person to learn his ways. Steve Chalke says that the dust from your rabbi’s feet should always be in your face because you are following so closely.
Follow Jesus today.