Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Discipleship in Jesus' Style

I was slow in “catching on.” I was a young pastor in a small denomination that had been shrinking in size for over fifty years when I was ordained. Through the grace of God and in His timing I became exposed to how to help a new believer in Christ grow and mature… and reproduce! As I learned later through my own research that this all takes place as a result of our union with Christ and our personally abiding in Him (cf. John 15), I became excited to see our congregation incorporate these things into their church life.

Now it was a traditional practice that the elders of the church – we are presbyterian in church government – should visit the members and “shepherd” them in the Christian life. So as a new pastor I brought this up before our elders, and without objection we took assignments to visit the “sheep.” Only one of our elders fulfilled his assignment. I could not figure out why the others looked at the floor and said they had not made their visits. I was baffled. They were serious Christians but seemed to balk at this kind of visiting our members.

This went on for several months until I was embarrassed even to inquire into their assignment. And then one day the Lord opened my eyes to Scripture. I had known the text, but never applied it to this situation. It was Mark 3:14 (AV). “And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach….” The lights went on! Of course. Jesus had these men “with Him” so they could watch Him, listen to Him, learn from Him on site. How does He speak with these people? What questions does He ask? How does He respond to rebuff? When does He leave them? The picture became clear! Read More

No comments: