During the Emerging Leader conference between 2 and 6 September at Beit Agape in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt, David* from Australian-based CHI ministries spoke on discipleship.
Discipleship, David said, is all about imitating a leader and following what he or she does. He used the game “Simon says” as an illustration to this principle of copying what Simon says to follow his actions.
The three attributes of a disciple are following Jesus, becoming like Jesus and also making disciples.
He emphasised the importance of passing on what you as have received through the fruit of another disciple. “Your job is to reach one person is a time,” he challenged the audience.
The five steps of spiritual growth are unborn babies, spiritual children, spiritual adults and eventually spiritual parents. From being born again, to being trained and maturing to reproduce, these stages are all applicable to discipleship in the spiritual as in the natural.
David used a mango seed to demonstrate discipleship growth. The seed is planted, then grows into a tree and gives fruit which contains new seed to be planted and grow to continue the cycle of bearing fruit and passing on the seeds for further growth.
“There is no success without succession,” he said. “We are not here for ourselves, but for those who come after us.”
According to David, respect for the previous generation from the current generation is key to discipleship.
He explained Jesus trusted His disciples to go out without Him. The disciples argued who was the greatest among them, but Jesus taught the greatest in God’s kingdom is the servant of all.
2 Philippians 2:3 says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition, but in humility consider others better than yourself.”
This also comes with embracing the same suffering, David believes.
Through serving people, Jesus has shown his love for them. “Don’t allow ministry to get in the way,” he warned against prioritising ambition above showing love through your service.
*A pseudonym was used for safety reasons.