Michael Jordan didn’t make the basketball team during his sophomore year of high school. However, the coach recognized that he was serious about basketball, so he made Michael an offer… he agreed to meet with him every morning and train him in the basics. Jordan took advantage of the offer. The rest, as they say, is history. Michael Jordan will go down in the books among the greatest ever to play the game of basketball, and that coach has the satisfaction of knowing that he played a key role in making it possible.
One of the greatest responsibilities of success is to pass your strengths to other people. Our accomplishments are a gift from God; we must be willing to share that gift with others. That shows up in the mission Jesus set for the church just before He ascended… There are four steps to keeping what has come to be known as The Great Commission. For some strange reason, we sometimes think that we can skip parts 1 and 2 and still achieve steps 3 and 4. Well, in this blog I am not even going to mention steps 3 and 4 because I want us to make sure we get steps 1 and 2 down pat. So, what are steps 1 and 2? Well, to quote Jesus it’s “go and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19)
I am so glad that there were people that made that investment in my life even though from all appearances I wasn’t going to make the team _ in other words I wasn’t going to become a Jesus-follower. Because of the many prayers prayed on my behalf and people like my parents and Esther Prater and Jim Stanforth it happened. As far as I’m concerned they were among the best of disciple makers.
Now another word that describes the disciple making process would be mentoring. The mentor-protégé relationship pays tremendous dividends. It would be arrogant to think that we don’t need a mentor and it would be selfish to refuse to become one. Mentoring is God’s method for helping people become Christ-followers and then after steps 3 and 4 become Christ proclaimers.
Here are a few examples of mentoring from the Bible that turned out great. Elisha became strong in the Lord through the mentoring of Elijah. Timothy became a preacher through the mentoring of Paul. Jesus’ apostles became world changers through the mentoring of Jesus.
The good news is that when we are mentored in godly principles it shows up in every area of life. Anyone who would want to be a dynamic parent, husband, wife, business person, teacher, pastor, leader, servant, Christian would benefit most by doing what Elisha and Timothy and the apostles did. Find the best _ learn from the best _ so you can become one of the best. Then, pass your newfound strength on to others.
Now I know I said I wasn’t going to mention steps 3 and 4 but I changed my mind. So, as Paul Harvey used to put it, “And now for the rest of the story.” Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
And that, my friends, is truly the responsible thing to do.