Jesus, The Great Disciple Maker

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A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
— Luke 6:40

What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? In simple terms, it means to be a follower or student of a leader or philosopher. To be a disciple of Christ means we study His life on earth and try our best to imitate it. Christianity is really that simple--look at Christ and follow His example. However, after one reading of the Gospels, we quickly discover living a life like Christ is impossible in our own strength. That is why we were given a Helper, the Holy Spirit of God living inside us, so we can live as imitations of Christ on this earth. He is our perfect example. Even though He is fully God, He never lived as more than a man. As we read through the Gospels, we see a simple storyline and a simple path to follow. Step one is hear from the Father, step two is obey, step three is teach those whom the Father has given us to do the same, and step four is repeat. All of this is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit inside us and not by our own strength, but His. The path will look different for every human being, but the process is the same.

However, through the ages, Christianity became centered on a church building and a pastor. Suddenly, the pastor was the only leader and the congregation was free from all discipling responsibilities. Instead, churchgoers were only expected to attend church on Sunday and tithe so the pastor could be paid for discipling the entire church. However, the Church is far too great a burden for one man to carry. It was never intended to be that way. We should all be disciples learning from someone who follows Jesus and teaching someone else to follow Jesus.

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”
— 1 Corinthians 11:1

As Paul the Apostle said, we can imitate those who imitate Christ. We need to realize that we are all disciples who make disciples. We are not just a paying audience waiting to be entertained on a Sunday morning. Jesus, the greatest disciple maker this world has ever known or will ever know, had a large following, but only twelve disciples. And He brought three of them into His core group. Christianity is not about the one man with the megachurch. It is about the thousands of men and women who are faithful to follow and obey Jesus and teach their core group to do the same. Whether they are a mom discipling her children to Christ, a high schooler leading his friends to Christ by example, or the missionary in a foreign land winning many for His Kingdom, we must realize we are all in this together. After all, the Church is not a building. It is a worldwide body of believers.


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