Beginning the life of a disciple of Jesus Christ is exciting and a little daunting. So much new things. New discoveries from the Bible. A new perspective on life and the world.
It is important for the new Christian to get connected with a Christian who is further along in his/her faith journey. To walk alongside and learn from another is quite impactful on one’s faith journey. To watch and learn. To learn from another so that you can do yourself and one day teach another.
This mentoring relationship is similar to that of an apprenticeship. One where a new Christian, the apprentice, learns by practical experience from their mentor, a more mature Christian. It is not the simple exchange of head knowledge. It is active teaching of how to live the life of a disciple by the actively living the life of a disciple.
An apprenticeship is a special relationship where the mentor teaches by example to the apprentice. It is generally for a specific period time with the intention of training the apprentice to continue the work of the master. The apprentice learns and then goes out to ply the trade in his/her context.
The apprentice is able to learn directly from the mentor on how to study the Bible so as to listen and learn from the Word of God. The apprentice also watches the mentor on how to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all who s/he interacts during the week.
Going out together to serve; studying God’s Word together sharing questions & insights; Living out the missional life habits together; Each of these are examples of a mentor teaches the apprentice. It is the example set before the apprentice that makes an impact and helps one learn from experience.
At times one can get caught up in academic study of discipleship and not be out living it. There can be a separation between one’s faith and life. Faith becomes a mere cognitive assent and does not impact one’s actions or interactions with others. It is this dichotomy that can be confusing to non-believers. There is no evidence of how being a Christian makes an impact on one’s life.
With a mentor sharing his/her life and experiences with the apprentice sharing of the faith is passed on to the next generation of believers. Not in a cognitive assent but also more deeply so as to transform one’s life completely. It is the beginning of equipping, empowering and deploying another disciple to serve and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in one’s life.
This Week’s Challenge
Schedule a time this week to get together with the person you respect in how s/he lives as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Ask questions. Learn from him/her. Or who has God placed in your life you could begin to share your faith journey with and mentor along on theirs?