Go figure–I’ve been thinking wrong again. Like many other Christians, I’d been taught that “bringing people to Jesus” was what I was supposed to be doing all along, the more the merrier–can I hear an amen? WRONG!
Our work is not to save souls, but to disciple them. . .One life totally devoted to God is of more value to Him than one hundred lives which have been simply awakened by His Spirit. —Oswald Chambers
I can hear it now, scoffing and booing from my internet crowd (I’m assuming I have a crowd here). But wait, as I thought about it further I decided to look at the example Jesus left us here. Of all people, if anyone could handle a bunch of followers it would be him, right? But he seemed to have his hands full with 12 and 1 betrayed him. The crowds of “disciples” abandoned him when he didn’t show them the signs they wanted or tell them what they wanted–check out John chapter 6 and what happened in 6:66. Many left him.
Duplicating or replicating or passing something on to someone in the form of our faith takes an intimate relationship, like Jesus had with his 12 disciples. Yes, it’s much easier to call a crowd in, invite them to give their hearts to Jesus and add more “notches on our belts,” or in Christian jargon, “add another star to our crown” saying, “Ten people came to the Lord today because of me,” while puffing hot air on our fingernails and rubbing them on our proud Christian chests. But what about your family and friends? Do they know Jesus more because of you? Have they been learning from your example–faith, hope and love? Do they feel it? Do they desire more of it and more from whom “it” comes from because of you? Do they want to get to know Jesus more because of your relationship? Can you tell them about how to have faith, hope or love? Do you really have faith to tell? When’s the last time you prayed with and for a friend or family member?
I’d suggest that the Church would be more effective if we each took the example Jesus left with us. Mentor those around us in faith. In return, they will mentor someone else, then that person will mentor someone else and pretty soon, many lives are being touched, changed, redeemed by our faith–just in a whole different way than we thought. It’s all about duplicating that faith, that faith, that faith. . .