Copycat! (Discipleship, Part I)

I’ll teach a one-day seminar about discipleship and disciple-making on October 3rd. So, I thought I’d pique your interest while making you a little smarter (hopefully) about a Christian’s single-most important task: discipleship. The next three blogs will, therefore, help you to do a good job!

Tip #1: Be a Sold-out Copycat (of good stuff)!

A disciple is an imitator who becomes like the teacher (Matthew 10:24-25). The original word is mimētēs. A disciple is entirely devoted (Matthew 16:24) – no exceptions, middle ground, do-overs, or Sunday-only copycats! Here’s an example of how the apostle Paul lauded his copycats (1Thessalonians 1:6-7):

You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

Tip #2: Follow Jesus’ Model to Make More Copycats!

You should’ve noticed that Paul also praised the Thessalonians for, in turn, being good examples to others who became disciples. There is a process to becoming and, in turn, making disciples, and it can come at a cost! Jesus said this: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). He later reiterated to John the Revelator the potential cost of physical death (of the saints who would suffer incredible persecution while awaiting Christ’s return as read in Revelation 12:11):

And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

His disciples must replicate the life and death He displayed; modeling was but one part of Jesus’ approach to making disciples. Here’s His (and, therefore, our) disciple-making method:

  1. Built, or used, trusting relationships.
  2. Spoke the good news of God’s Kingdom & its particulars.
  3. Modeled what He taught.
  4. Tested through dialogue and questioning.
  5. Corrected the disciples as necessary.
  6. Sent (think GO!).

Tip #3: GO!

As He was leaving the earth roughly 2,000 years ago, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go and make more. It was and is a mandate – the Great Commission, not the Great Omission or Great Suggestion! Interestingly, the action contradicts today’s misunderstanding that we are to ‘get people to come to church’ and hope the pastor does all the hard work. Perhaps our backward thinking keeps us from being the Kingdom of God in our neighborhoods, at work, and while playing.

Next , we’ll explore how the earliest Church put to work Jesus’ discipleship method. Of course, we’re just scratching the surface, so you must join me on October 3rd for Disciple-Con 20/20 Vision! For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.findingdiscipleship.org/disciplecon2020

Blessings and peace,

Ron Braley

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