STRONG DISCIPLES, STRONG CHURCH
You therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ (2 Tim 2:1-3)
These verses written by Paul to Timothy, contain the essence of true discipleship. Timothy was a believer “well spoken of by others" in his hometown of Lystra (Acts 16:2), which meant that he was probably a follower ready to be mentored. Paul saw this and invited him on his missionary journey. Thus began a mentoring relationship that eventually grew Timothy into the pastor of the church in Ephesus many years later. A truism of discipleship is this: Meetings may be incidental but disciple-making has to be intentional. “Be strong in the grace”, Paul said. What is this grace? It’s the grace of growing deeper in Christ where both parties recognize the divine enabling. You see, when the mentee is ready, the mentor will always appear.
But it doesn’t stop there. There is a need for the mentee to pass on to faithful men what he has learned. And also to endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ. These adjoining verses tell us that discipleship is not the mere transmission of biblical truths. The mentor must impart godly character and faith. Hardship is the best moulder of the inner life. If we are to reproduce A.B.C disciples then mentors themselves must also be authentic, broken and courageous. For discipleship is more than a teacher-to-pupil tuition; it is one of life-to-life impartation! We reproduce after our kind!
Then selection of mentees is vital. Paul told Timothy to choose faithful men who can teach others also. A faithful mentee is one who understands and applies the Word to his life. It is not until these mentees in turn can impart to “others” of the fourth generation that we can be sure that the disciple-making process has been a success. We are now in the third generation of mentoring/ discipling in Skyline. For in thus Year of Strength, strong disciples will make a strong church!
2016 YEAR OF STRENGTH
PsDr Philip Lyn