There are as many definitions of discipleship as there are discipleship materials. Paul understood this when he invited the Corinthians to imitate him. In 1 Corinthians 4:15-16, he said there was an abundance of “instructors” but few “fathers” who are willing to take on spiritual children and demonstrate Christian living through their own lives. This kind of discipling requires a personal investment.
We are involved in a ministry that requires a 24/7 investment. Brad and I accepted the challenge to open a residence for Christian university students. Every year, over 100,000 students fill the university campuses of Córdoba, Argentina. Many come from around the country and have no family or contact in the city with whom to live while attending the university. We provide Christian students with low-cost living quarters, a weekly Bible study, Christian principles for living together, and the encouragement to stand for Jesus in a very non-Christian campus.
But it’s more than the daily involvement or Bible study; we’re being watched! We received comments such as “I didn’t know what a Christian marriage looks like,” or “I know you have devotions each day because I’ve seen you.” Even now as we live next door on the same property, they’re watching us daily to see how we deal with discouragement, financial needs, crises that arise, or spiritual needs around us. They need to see practical Christianity lived out in everyday life. What a responsibility to keep our own hearts in fresh contact and renewal with the Lord. It’s not about how flawless we are (we’re not!), but about how evident He can be in us if we walk as closely to Him as humanly possible.
What an awesome thing to say with Paul to a young Christian, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Do you dare to invite someone to come alongside you and walk with Jesus?
Discipling someone will teach you how to help another mature in faith. If God is calling you to invest in a young Christian, read the Plant chapter of the World Go! Manual to help get you started. Download the chapter for free atwww.wgm.org/worldgo.