As I walked through the worship center last Wednesday night I witnessed something so special & rewarding! As I glanced over across the room I saw one of our youth leaders embracing a middle school student & praying with her. I stopped & just watched as this leader loved & cared for this young teen with such passion! It was BEAUTIFUL! It was so rewarding for me to see because this youth leader was someone I had discipled & poured into for a few years. It was amazing to see how she responded to the student just like I would! As I watched, I was so touched because it was like seeing myself! I felt as though God was saying, “Look Julie, you have trained her well and she is responding with such love because you have loved her first!” Because someone had cared for & mentored this youth leader with the love of Christ, which included many long talks, times of prayer, sob sessions & laugh attacks together, she was able to love & mentor someone else!
The Apostle Paul told the early church “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
As we fix our eyes on the love & beauty of Jesus & the example he set for us, he then uses our beautiful lives & examples to change the beautiful lives of those around us! Sharing my story is by no means an attempt to brag on myself, but an opportunity to ask what kind of disciples are we making? To know, we first have to look deep inside ourselves and see who we really are, because whoever we are, we will reproduce! This can be amazing & scary at the same time! Jesus says that we will reap what we sow.
If we desire to produce loving, committed, powerful & trustworthy disciples of Jesus then we have to be those things first!
Whatever we put in ourselves will come out of us! The only way I can really produce healthy disciples is if I myself am growing in God’s word daily & spending time in his presence. In His presence I am filled with fresh strength, vision & love for the people he has called me to reach! God’s Word is living water for our souls!
So look around at those you have been given the privilege to disciple and note some things, characteristics & qualities that you are proud of and some things you know you can improve on. Next, spend some quality time in Gods presence, meditating on His Word and praying specifically for those things you want to see God change in you and in those under your leadership! Put your phone away and just have some you and Jesus time! There is such beauty in solitude!
The more time you spend with Christ, the more you will look & act like Him! He is Loving, strong & beautiful in every way! Likewise, the more you pour into your disciples, the more they will begin to look like you – BEAUTIFUL! – Julie