May 27th, 2020
"If you want to get better at something, surround yourself with people who are better at it than you are."
I've been hearing this quote a lot lately. As I look back at my Discipleship Training School and my time on staff here at YWAM Vancouver, I can see it to be true. If you want to become a more positive person, you're going to have to surround yourself with positive people. If you want to become a better snowboarder, then you're going to have to ride with people who are better at shredding the mountain. The same goes if you want to grow in your relationship with God, you're going to have to surround yourself with fellow believers who have the same desire, who have been walking this journey longer, and who will challenge you.
Whether you were raised in a Christian home or just came to know Jesus a week ago, every day we are called to pursue Jesus. While you can follow him on your own, there is something special about pursuing Him with others. You might be surrounded by a strong Christian community, but maybe you're not sure how Jesus fits into your own life. Perhaps you're the lone fish, swimming upstream but struggling to persevere. You might sense Jesus' call to go deeper, but you're not sure where to begin. How about starting with one keyword:
What is discipleship? Well a disciple is someone who follows another person and their teachings. Even though “disciple” is a term mostly used in Christian circles, we’re all being discipled by something or someone. We tend to use other words for it, like enthusiast, fan, or supporter. If we’re trying to emulate or learn from someone, we would be considered their disciple.
Whether it would be following an Influencer on Instagram, learning how to cook on Youtube, or listening to a sermon series on a podcast app, we’re being discipled. As people who are already being discipled by many sources, we should be aware of which voice gets our full attention.
That voice should be Jesus.
To start, we should learn how He built relationships, how He did community, how He taught others and how He demonstrated His relationship with the Father.
Jesus challenged His disciples to a new way of living. During Jesus' life, His disciples had the opportunity to do life with Him, as . they ate together, travelled together, ministered together, laughed and cried together, and had communion together. . He showed them a life that had an outward focus in the world and that was not self-seeking. That valued relationships and saw the worth of walking through the ups and the downs with each other, pointing one another towards life's Sustainer. Jesus, taught lessons, lived them out, challenged, and then sent out His disciples to duplicate Himself. He is our ultimate example of what discipleship is.
We might not have Jesus physically with us anymore, but we have His Spirit and His Word. His teachings and actions are recorded in the Bible for us to learn from and apply to our lives. And as believers who have made Jesus King of our hearts, we also have His Spirit living within us. Through His Spirit, He is very much alive and is our guide still today.
Along with His Spirit and His Word, Jesus very well still teaches through the art of community as we see Jesus’ characteristics acted out in each other. Gathering together strengthens the body of believers and allows us to sharpen one another. Together we’re able to walk out how Jesus did life with the first disciples. In a world where there are so many uncertainties, we’re able to point each other back to the One who we should imitate and strive to be like.