Discipleship is one of our Christian journey's most demanding yet fulfilling facets. (Philippians 2:17-18) We, the children of God, find a striking parallel to this process in our families, where one generation raises the next.
Discipleship will challenge your commitment in every dimension of love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13. It resembles the challenges of parenting. Just as Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy and a nurturing yet firm figure to the churches he established, we, too, have the privilege of guiding others in the gospel. Over the years, I have been honored to mentor women and witness many men mature in their faith and understanding of His word. The title "mom" bestowed upon me by young men and women has been a precious recognition. Like new parents, we labor diligently and patiently with those born again in Christ. Our approach is gentle, yet we must not compromise on the essentials. Often, they resist, desiring their way, and the process can be painful as they relinquish their old pleasures. It's challenging to step out of our comfort zones, especially in a culture that values autonomy and disdains accountability. However, they must learn to trust that our guidance is rooted in love, steering them towards Christ and His teachings.
As they mature, you continue to guide them through the scriptures. They are observant, scrutinizing your every action. They trust that you won't let them down, yet they quickly realize that you, too, are on a journey of sanctification and growth in Christ. If you consistently direct them towards Christ rather than yourself, they will be on the right path. Acknowledging your imperfections will encourage them to rely more on God than you.
Our aspiration is not to expand a large congregation but to cultivate deeply committed disciples of Christ. We yearn for faithful followers, wholeheartedly devoted to Christ, emulating His ways. This is undoubtedly the most challenging undertaking in Scripture, and it demands a profound sacrifice of your life. (Ephesians 4:11-17)
Our primary focus is to nurture the gifts God has bestowed upon them, aiding them in employing these gifts to benefit the church community. Our highest priority is guiding them towards an intimate knowledge of God's Word, recognizing that it can transform lives. They do not merely learn from our words but are shaped more profoundly by our actions. We become an exemplar they can emulate, as Apostle Paul encouraged others to imitate him. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
In due course, your cherished spiritual children mature into fully-fledged adults in their faith. They, too, yearn to disciple others, just as you have guided them, and the cycle perpetuates. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Consider how frequently they spend time in your home, join you in your car, share meals, or engage in the Lord's work with you. How often do you delve into Scripture and lift your voices in prayer? Has your bond grown so strong that you long for each other's company even after just a few days apart? Have you, in essence, become a family? (Acts 2:42)
Begin with one; if we prove faithful with one, He may entrust us with more. But remember, even Jesus had only twelve disciples.
Selah Sister Amy