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Friday, 12 July 2013

Discipling others requires more than one person......

Jesus can disciple one to one
When Jesus left us his command "Make disciples of all nations...." we might think that his method of discipling - one man to twelve - could be ours too. Should one Christian on their own disciple twelve others?

The reason the answer is a definite no is simply this: not one of us reflects Christ perfectly, we are all blemished in many ways, reflecting Jesus only partially. But two or three believers together have a better chance of reflecting Christ to a young believer than one.

And discipleship in the early years is just so important. 

Illustrations and examples please
I remember a very argumentative Christian joining a fellowship I was pastoring. Later I met her former pastor and discovered why she was so argumentative - he who had discipled her was argumentative!

Although this may seem an odd example: from the world of imprinting we learn the vital significance of early example. A friend of mine was given an European Eagle Owl. He thought this was a kind gift, but the eagle turned out to be a moody - and even dangerous - bird: early in its life, the owner had mistreated it and in reacting to the mistreatment it had become moody and dangerous fullstop.

A child's early development crucially affects the child later on in life. Feral children often never learn to speak because in the first few years of their lives they lived with animals or in the wild.

It is far better for young Christians to be surrounded by a small group of older Christians rather than one Christian who will naturally have many faults and pass them on to the new believer.

Our solemn duty
Our call is to disciple the world (not merely convert the world) and this requires surrounding young believers with godly examples. Discipleship puts great demands on us, because as we are, so will the world be. "Follow me as I follow the example of Christ" says Paul. We can't take anyone beyond where we are. That makes Christian living a serious matter, especially when surrounded by baby Christians.

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