I started a 7-day devotional by Francis Chan this morning called Multiply, just to add to my normal reading. Discipleship and Marriage & Family are big areas that Heather and I love to explore, lead and teach, so it made sense to get in it. As I was reading this morning, I was struck by the simplicity of DISCIPLESHIP.
It means to follow and that is it, but we can complicate this process in our churches by trying to come up with new ways to lead people to maturity. Don’t get me wrong, classes and processes are needed and this is not a shot at churches trying to facilitate discipleship; technically, this is a discussion on how to simplify it as much as we can.
We read in Luke 6:40:
“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
When we identify ourselves as Christians, we are saying that we are followers of Jesus. It is really plain and simple; if we are followers of Jesus, we will become like Him. As a Christian leader, I fight so hard to instill a leadership principle that I firmly believe in, that multiplication is better than duplication. This is true in the business world as much as it is in the organization of the church. We want to empower people to use their gifts, be who God made them to be, and for them to see themselves how God sees them. In this fight, it is easy to lose sight that a duplication is also happening, becoming like Jesus. This is a great thing!
Do we stand so firm on our wanting to be an individual, creative, and unique that we lose the value of becoming just like Jesus? I had to ask myself that question and will continue to. If we do not want to become just like Jesus, then we are not followers of Jesus. The simple things are usually the most difficult, yet the moment we realize our heart may not be lined up with His, He is faithful to not only remind us, but bring us back with grace and mercy.
I asked myself, a question this morning:
What makes me not want to be just like Jesus?
Sometimes, it is a good thing to ask yourself some hard questions. After some prayer and thought, I wrote this in my journal:
I struggle with the constant change required to follow Christ. I get tired and run out of gas and just go with what I am comfortable with, what my great maturity (sarcasm) decides is best instead of what Jesus says is best. As a Christian leader, it is easy for me to get into routines and strong habits (which can be good), but I am just as called to constant change as the new believer. I need to celebrate the change, not despise it.
Ask yourself that question and after prayer and thought, write your answer down, even share it below. I will write some more thoughts later about discipleship.