Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday my alarm sounds around 5am. Oh, how I loathe that alarm sometimes! Yet, year after year, I get up because I'm, says Neil Cole, a "hero."
? What kind of hero
? In fact, at 37, I'm starting to feel a little...well...post "Mr. Incredible." But Neil says it isn't so. Every time I give a little of myself to the cause of discipleship, I'm helping another escape the clutches of hell; I'm helping another find life in Jesus.
So, I'll continue to set my alarm, because that's what heroes do. They sacrifice a part of themselves for another.
THIS WEEK'S QUESTION/TOPIC: Jesus commanded his followers to "make disciples."
||What Will You Leave Behind?
|Excerpt from Search and Rescue by Neil Cole
Paul could leave this planet victoriously (2 Tim 4:7, 8) because he left behind someone who could carry the work to the next generation. We would all do well to ask ourselves, If I were to die today, what of significance would I leave behind? We should share Paul's concern for lasting influence and begin to invest in transformed disciples who can take the message of the gospel to the next generation. Who is the Timothy in your life? Who will carry on after you're gone? Christianity's very survival depends on the lives that we leave behind, lives that have been changed and prepared to carry on after us (2008:101).
||My Reflections |
I've intentionally discipled (i.e. walked alongside them as they learn to follow Jesus) people for 17 years. And after all that time, I've come to this everyone-should-know conclusion: there are no shortcuts. No fancy curriculum makes discipleship easier. No program makes the process faster. There's no substitute for time in relationship. I can't "preach" to the multitudes to make disciples in bulk. I can't send out newsletters like this one and expect to produce fully devoted followers of Christ. Let me say it again, There are no shortcuts.
Modeling the no shortcut rule, Jesus discipled the Twelve for Jesus recognized the inherent limitations
(by design) in human relationships
; one can only authentically know a handful of others. But Jesus also knew the power of multiplication for Jesus expected the Twelve to reproduce.
Frankly, it would be a lot more glamorous to be in charge of hundreds or even thousands of "Christians." But experience has taught me it's far better to invest in the ready-to-be-discipled few who will reproduce than it is to "feed" the masses who often become dependent on me for food.