BY: Craig Warrick
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. –Matthew 28:19 (NLT)
PERSONAL REFLECTION: My son, Zachary, is the Pastoral Assistant at Life Assembly. In addition to a plethora of administrative duties, he is given regular opportunities to teach and speak.
A few weeks ago on a Sunday morning he delivered a few thoughts before the offering. As pastor Andrew introduced him he referenced Zach’s participation in Fine Arts. This is a program giving middle school and high school students the opportunity to compete in a variety of artistic categories to develop their gifts and receive recognition, potentially on a national level. Years ago, Zach competed in several areas, but the one referenced at church that morning was short sermon.
As I watched Zach, my mind went to discipleship. Wikipedia states: “The term “disciple” is derived from the Koine Greek word mathetes, which means a pupil (of a teacher) or an apprentice (to a master craftsman).”
Why did my mind go to this concept? Because that is really Zach’s story. Not to take anything from the contribution his mom and I have made to his life, but so much of his spiritual development has come because a couple of men have been willing to truly disciple him. Yes, Zach had to be a student, but as the definition indicates, he had to have a teacher or master craftsman. That means there had to be someone willing to teach him. In his life there have been those that don’t HAVE TO but CHOOSE to apprentice and teach. John Driver spent countless hours helping Zach prepare for that short sermon. He (and Andrew Wharton) have continued to invest in him in very practical, skill building ways for years. That is what discipleship looks like. It’s not about doing a Bible study once a week. It’s about mentoring, believing he’s better than he thinks he is, challenging him to step outside of his comfort zone, and giving him an opportunity to succeed and fail.
In scripture, I see this example in Paul’s relationship with Timothy. Paul identified this young disciple and taught him (1 & 2 Timothy), traveled with him (Acts 17, 18, 19), went to prison with him (Hebrews 13:23), trusted him with important missions (Acts 17:14. Acts 19:22, 1 Corinthians 4:17), wrote with him (2 Corinthians 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1), and considered him a coworker (Romans 16:21). This is what a true discipleship relationship looks like.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: What really struck me in all of this is…do I disciple because I CHOOSE to really, truly, honestly, wholeheartedly invest in someone? Have I followed this scriptural role model in the past? Am I looking for ways to mentor, teach, and encourage someone now?
PRAYER: Lord, open my eyes to see discipleship opportunities and give me courage and wisdom to invest in lives in a deep and meaningful way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Craig is a husband of one, father of three, dog owner of four, and participant in too many hobbies to count. He also makes an excellent latte and would like to offer you an opportunity to taste one of his creations and support missions in the brōō café on Sunday. mornings.