Thoughts on Discipleship #3

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.
—Chinese proverb

I read that proverb this week in the book Discipleship that Fits: The Five Kinds of Relationships God Uses to Help Us Grow by Bobby Harrington and Alex Absalom. They advocate an approach to discipleship that involves a balance of relationships, experience, and information. They illustrate this approach in this way – this may be an interesting experiment for you to do. Take one minute for each of these…

• List five sermons you have heard that have impacted your life for Christ.
• List five things that have happened to you that have impacted your life for Christ.
• List five people whose influence has impacted your life for Christ.

Which list was the easiest to write? For most people, listing five people is the easiest. Harrington and Absalom said, “Discipleship is primarily about imitation over information, and it is through relationships that it most powerfully occurs.” Paul often told others to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Cor 4:16, 1 Cor 11:1, Phil 4:9). When Jesus trained the disciples, he did so relationally by living life with them and training them up. When you are in that kind of community with others, imitation can occur.

That is why relationships in our groups are so important. Group leaders… even if you don’t think your group members are watching your life, they are! May we all be able to say that those we lead can follow our example… because we are following Christ.