I am often asking myself the question, “why do I make discipleship harder than it is?” I mean, I think I understand what it means to follow Jesus. To do what He does. So I learn from him. I try to be near him. I try to pray and ask Him certain questions. I understand that as I follow Jesus I will slowly imitate him. But, when it comes to me making disciples, why do I make that task harder than it needs to be?
For instance, I ask questions like, “Do I KNOW enough?” “What book do I take them through?” “What do I even do with them?” Many questions like that can plaque me as I think about disciple making. But shouldn’t it be done somewhat the same way as Jesus disciples me/us? Shouldn’t it start with a simple follow me too? But that just feels weird doesn’t it?
“Hey people, follow me…”
I am leading a cult? If it’s just about me, then yes. But if we take on the posture that Paul did in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow me as I follow Jesus (imitate is a better word choice here)” then we can say follow me…as long as I’m following Jesus.
But what does that look like? Don’t I still have to know somethings?
Let’s deal with one simple thought for starters…Discipleship looks like being with others. Let me explain…If you scan the early years of the disciples with Jesus, you will see it over and over again, Jesus called the 12 to be with Him. Time and time again, we see, especially in the first year of their time with Jesus, that they often just observed Jesus, they experienced Jesus, they listened to Jesus. Ultimately they were just with him. We see that they didn’t fully believe everything or get everything, but that’s OK. Jesus was with them. He was with them A LOT. Jesus modeled a way of life. They followed Him.
Then in John 3:22-36, we see that John the Baptist had disciples as well. How did he do it? It appears that they followed him and were with him A LOT. John was able to say follow me, but not just leaving it there, he said “as I follow Jesus.” Or, specifically, “I must decrease, He must increase.”
So, for starters, what if instead of figuring out what I know or don’t know, or what I’ll do with them, let’s just settle two things when it comes to making disciples. One, I/we will continually chose to follow Jesus and imitate His life. Two, have others follow me as I follow Jesus. Be with them as you are with Jesus.