“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
What do you think of when you think of discipleship? Does a specific person come to mind? Do you think of mentoring a person or being mentored? To me, discipleship is shepherding someone, taking what we learn as we grow in Christlikeness and, in the process, sharing that with someone along the way. Robby Gallaty defines discipleship as “intentionally equipping believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to replicate faithful followers of Christ” (1). In other words, a disciple learns what Jesus said and lives out what Jesus did (Matthew 28:19).
Discipleship should be intentional. We should have relationships in which we are intentionally equipping believers, and we should have accountability—both of which should be done by the Holy Spirit. Discipleship, however, isn’t always deliberate. The way we live our lives, especially in today’s era of exposure and social media, opens a door for people—believers and unbelievers alike—to be “discipled” in some way.
The question we must ask ourselves is this: if we lead someone to Christ, will we be able to say, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ”? Do we imitate Christ in our actions? Do we imitate Christ with our words? As believers who shepherd others, the way we live our lives to onlookers will either help to bring them closer to Christ or it will lead them away. There is no neutrality.
I do not live a life of perfection by any means. I am a sinner saved by grace, daily going through the painful process of sanctification. As I grow closer to Christ, however, it isn’t just my walk on the line anymore. We must remember that our walk is a witness. Let’s imitate Christ, so we can live out the great commission with conviction and in good conscience.
Father, help me to live in a way that is worthy of my calling. Help me to intentionally point others to You, and when my actions are being watched by others, help me to glorify You.
How do you define discipleship? If you lead someone to Christ, are you able to say, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ”?
Are you making disciples intentionally? If not, ask God to bring someone into your life you are able to equip, be accountable with, and grow with.