If you’re typical, and most of us are, you have had people at some different points in your life that have had an impact on you and how you live and how you do things.
Personally, I have had 3 such individuals to whom I can point. I’m sure you can point to at least one, probably more, as well.
These people can from various walks of life and intersect our lives due to a variety of reasons.
But one thing is true of all these people. In some way, they invited us into their lives so that we could watch and then imitate and then build upon what we have experienced from them.
This is the essence of what is called discipleship.
Now, let me ask this question: how many of us have intentionally invited someone into our lives so that s/he could watch and experience how we live so that s/he would imitate us?
In my experience, this number is by far less than those of us who have been invited by someone into his or her life.
And therein lies the problem.
And even those who do intentionally invite someone into his or her life, how often does she or he demonstrate to that invited person how she or he goes about making another disciple.
And this making of another disciple is important for that current disciple to witness and experience happening because we cannot be what we cannot see. If a disciple doesn’t see his or her discipler making another disciple, then it is the norm that that current disciple will not make disciples, because it has not been experienced.
And that is where change must occur. Not only must we once again intentionally invite others to be our disicple, but we must begin to do something that we may not have experienced from the one who discipled us – making another disicple in view of a current disicple.
I say that based on what I have witnessed in almost 25 years of being a pastor: I have seen very few people actually intentionally drawing another into a relationship with God through Christ and then discipling that person by inviting him or her to experience life together.
And, so, when I do not see disciples who make disicples, I naturally question what people have experienced because we naturally imitate and innovate upon what we have personally seen and experienced.
But the cycle can be changed and must be changed in order for the tide of stagnation and decline to be halted and reversed.