This has been the “formula” from the beginning. “One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (John 1:40-42).
Disciples have always followed Jesus and helped others follow him too. As we see in Titus 2, this principle forms the bedrock strategy for helping people grow up in Christ. Older women who follow Jesus are to teach younger women to follow Jesus and older men who follow Jesus are to teach younger men to follow Jesus. This is discipleship.
Today, we can carry out the biblical command of Christian discipleship at Church on Mill:
Proactively pursue someone a little further along than you in faith and someone a little further behind you.
Andrew proactively begun walking behind Jesus, learning from him and watching his life. Then, Andrew proactively found his brother and showed him how to do the same. So, when you see someone who has been following Jesus a little longer than you, ask to see a little more of their life. Then, do the same with those not following him or those farther behind.
Do this from the very beginning of Christian faith to the very end of life.
John 1 says that Andrew “first found” Peter after he found Jesus. He didn’t wait until he had reached a threshold in his maturity. Peter then continued learning from Jesus and the other apostles until the end.
Read the Bible together and talk about how things are going with God.
Men meet up with men and women meet up with women to simply read the Bible, pray, get involved in each other’s lives, and share openly about how things are with God.
Be prepared for joyful growth that comes from a sometimes-painful process.
As you help others grow in knowing Christ and others are helping you grow in knowing Christ, Christ is pruning everyone’s branches. “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2). Be steadfast in your pursuit of becoming more like him by being steadfast in meeting with others, even when the pruning is painful. God is making you able to bear more fruit for his glory.
Don’t know how to start helping someone else follow Jesus? Take a look at our Discipling Tools page. Having trouble anywhere in the process of discipling? Get plugged into a Gospel Community and talk to a leader about it, contact our Deacon of Women’s Discipleship and Mentoring, Katina Skinner, or ask a pastor for guidance. Though we are by no means perfect in the process, every member of Church on Mill has committed to grow and help others grow in their faith. We are thankful that God will “purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).