Monday, January 12, 2015

Passing On The Baton (Part 1)

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2Timothy 2:1-2

 Christ has called every true Christian to the indispensable task of making disciples. Every disciple of Christ must be a disciple-making-disciple. The greatest question for you is are you making any disciple(s) in your ministry? Here Paul is instructing his disciple Timothy whom he called, “my child” on what he is to do. Of priority is not to be greatest missionary in the whole world or pastor of the largest church in the world – but to make disciples.

First he was to operate under the strength of the grace of the Lord Christ Jesus.
Then he was to remember what he had seen and heard from Paul and be well-conversant with these wonderful truths himself.
Then he is to look for faithful men, because they are scarcely few. Once he found them, Timothy was commit this same body of truths to them by teaching and instructing them to both know and do (obey). They must possess two qualities – be faithful (saved, and committed to Christ just like Timothy) and be able to teach others also.
He is also to follow through to make sure that the chain does not end there. Yes, Timothy is told make sure that the men he appoints will be committed to the same truths without adding or subtracting from them. This group must also be committed to passing on the baton to another generation, and on it went until today I am here to write this for you to read. This is basic tactic is what has travelled through the centuries, from all sorts of culture and time, so that today we have Christians from every nation, every race, every tongue and every people. Talk about the power of the gospel.
Jesus the greatest disciple-maker utilized four reproducible principles in His ministry, which remain equally relevant today. They are:
v  Prayerful meditations
v  Careful selection
v  Purposeful association and
v  Powerful proclamation

OT Example
Moses instituted a discipling process in the Old Testament between fathers and sons (and even grandsons) that would ensure godly leadership in the home and society for God’s people, both then and the future. Wherever a need exists to discern God’s will in the affairs of men – in the world or home – the clearly prescribed principle is to develop leadership through making disciples. E.g. Moses did not leave Israel without a leader – he discipled, trained and left Joshua… with the result that, “the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of al Israel; so that they revered him, just as they had revered Moses all the days of his life.” (Joshua 4:14; Cf. Ex. 24:13; 33; 11; Num. 11:28)
For more examples of the explication of this principle, there is Elijah training Elisha (1Kings 19:19-21; 2Kings 2:3; 3:11) and in the lives of Jeremiah and Baruch (Jer. 36:26; 43:3). More generally Samuel had a school of prophets under his oversight (1Sam. 10:5-10; 19:20-24).
In this manner of relationships, leadership was passed on from one leader to the next until God had accomplished his purposes through them to meet the need of His people.
Listen to Michael Wilkins, in his book, Following the Master: discipleship in the Steps of Jesus
Master-disciple relationships behind the perpetuation and dissemination of the wisdom tradition would be found in informal father-son relationships, in training of elders for making judicial decisions in the city gate, in the wisdom orientation of advisers in the court, and within certain groups who specialized in wisdom and were involved with the recording of wisdom sayings.

Discipling is the heartbeat of wise counsel – Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” Prov. 27:17

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