The focus of discipleship is following. Following Jesus. Following mature Christians as they follow of Jesus.
Following means imitating. By emulating Jesus, we learn from Jesus. By mimicking followers of Jesus, we learn of Jesus.
In imitating Christ and Christ-followers, we find more than models for the Christian life. We find inspiration.
Recently, I’ve started searching the Scriptures for new Christ-followers to follow. I’ve done this in the past, but didn’t recognize how I was drawn to different Christ-followers in different seasons of life.
I became a Senior Pastor in my third year of ministry. To prepare for the call, I spent a good deal of time in the book of Nehemiah. I was inspired by Nehemiah’s commitment to God. I was impressed with how he was prepared the moment God provided an opportunity for him to act. I stood in awe of his courage.
When I transitioned from Senior Pastor to Missionary-at-Large, I connected with Epaphras. The fact so little is known about Epaphras fueled my fascination. As best we can tell, Epaphras sat at Paul’s feet in Ephesus. Then, Epaphras went and started new churches around Colossae, in Asia.
I sensed my time as a church planter was done when Barnabas started inspiring me. I know the exact moment Barnabas inspired me to take seriously serving the Church regionally. While reading Acts chapter 13, I noticed Paul took over leadership of a mission trip from Barnabas. This meant Barnabas gave up the lead role, embracing a supporting role.
It struck me that serving behind the scenes, supporting workers on the front, could be meaningful. In fact, I might have a greater impact in God’s Kingdom by supporting a number of missionaries and mission teams than personally leading new starts.
Now, I’m looking anew at Scripture. Will I find inspiration in yet another Christ-follower? I don’t know yet.
Who are your biblical heroes? Who from the Scriptures inspired you five years ago? Or 10 years ago? Leave your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email.