DISCIPLE MAKING LEADERSHIP - METHOD AND MISSION
Whenever we talk about discipleship and want to learn more, all we need to do is look to the greatest example of Disciple-making Leadership in the Bible.
Whenever we talk about discipleship and want to learn more, all we need to do is look to the greatest example of Disciple-making Leadership in the Bible. That, of course, is Jesus Christ; so let's see what He has for us in Mark 1:16-20 where He "officially" calls His first disciples.
Jesus had been ministering in Judea prior to this call, which means these disciples probably knew of Jesus. One, at least, had been following John the Baptist who, without a doubt, had pointed him to Jesus. More than likely, all of them had heard Jesus Him speak, but this interaction goes much deeper.
The method of Jesus is without question. Notice the explicit language uses here - "Follow me." Jesus is not saying listen to me, speak well of me, or think my teachings are novel. Instead, Jesus is calling them to do something about it.
"Follow me" is a term in the New Testament that is an imperative statement that someone could "come here." In other words, Jesus wanted them to live like Him by loving Him more than other things. He desired that they would follow Him and nothing else.
Yes, these men were all fishermen and the call was the same; however, the temptation of an excuse would have been different. Peter and Andrew gave up their livelihood and support for their family. James and John, whose father ran a commercial fishing business and was probably a man of means, were to sacrifice comfort for Jesus. We face similar temptations to create excuses instead of willingly accepting the call of Jesus. In thinking about it, an excuse is nothing more than a made-up way to express a lack of desire. Either you desire to follow Jesus or you desire to follow yourself.
Before we get to the mission of Jesus, please note the order here. The method is that He calls us to follow Him - that's the first step. The mission comes next and is that we become fishers of men. Far too often, we get caught up in wanting to know our purpose and the plan that God has for us and completely overlook the need for a relationship with Him. We cannot find our true purpose in life UNLESS we first follow Him.
Sometimes, that relationship reveals that significant change is necessary. Look again at Peter, Andrew, James, and John. These fishermen would give up their occupation to follow a rabbi and, after the Resurrection, would become full-time preachers of the Gospel. The relationship is what changed their love, their life, and their labor.
If you want to disciple others, then be discipled by Jesus. If you want to be discipled by Jesus, then love Him more than anything else. If you want to love Jesus supremely, then you need a deep, abiding relationship with Him. The method of Jesus will point you to the mission that He has for you. Just make sure that you secure and maintain the relationship with Him...
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