Disciple-Making is Counter-Everything
What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer ought to be the first to get a share of the crops.(2 Timothy 2:2-6)
Disciple-making is hard because everything around us pushes against us doing this one thing.
After Paul instructed Timothy to pass on to others what he learned from him, who would then go and teach others (make disciples who make disciples) – he challenged him with 3 word pictures. He told his young student to be like a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer.
A soldier is a soldier because there is a war. There is something worth fighting for. A good soldier ignores civilian affairs. A good soldier listens and gets his cues from one voice: The Commanding Officer. Everything in and around us will tell us everything BUT disciple-making is important. If we aren’t careful, even in our churches, we can be busy doing a lot of good things. . .while neglecting the ONE thing Jesus (our Commanding Officer) tells us to do.
An athlete only gets prize IF he competes according to the rules. Translation: NO SHORT CUTS. An athlete who wins is the athlete who doesn’t skip leg day hoping he will still get better. He doesn’t take PED’s to get ahead faster. He gets up, everyday, and works at it. He knows there is no fast track to victory. It is grinding, everyday. Disciple-making is hard because we want to take short cuts. We want the numbers. We want the Bible knowledge. We want the crowds. We want the “good” music. We want to look Christian. Unfortunately, it’s easy to do. But a disciple-maker shows up, every day, disciplined. Grinding it out. Learning from Jesus and helping others who will teach others. There is no fast-tracking disciple-making.
A hard-working farmer enjoys the harvest. Why? Because he wakes up when it is raining, cold, hot, dry, snowing, and early to tend to the crop. He weeds out things that hurt his crop. He knows enough to recognize what’s not helpful and what it needs. A disciple-maker will be tempted to want to sleep in. Will want to stay home when its raining. Will want to watch the TV show instead of showing up. But the one who makes disciples gets up and shows up and is aware of what is needed for those he influences.
Everything around us seems to be counter disciple-making. It makes sense. If I was the enemy, I would set it up that way too. But let’s make no mistake. Doing this one thing guarantees victory, the prize, and a harvest for those who push through and don’t give up.
So, who are you discipling and who is discipling you?