By Lachlan Harders.
Discussing what it means to be a follower in a church full of leaders.
I’m a worship leader and will be the first to admit that my personal experience with God is very much determined by how much of a spiritual high (the best kind of high) I get on Sabbath. And it’s easy to run off a Jesus hit for a few days until the week gets going again and I’m looking forward to the end of the week when I can get another hit of the Spirit.
But how fake does that make me look if I’m supposed to be a leader in my church? One whom many would consider to be a role-model for younger people. And an example of a disciple of Christ to someone who is in church for the first time. What worries me is that I am not alone in this whole ‘Jesus-hit’ thing.
So if some of the leaders of the church have issues with being a good disciple of Christ, then what do we do?
It’s easy to say that we should just get new leaders but rather than looking at the leaves, let’s get down to the roots of the issue and find out what the Bible says about discipleship.
I want to point out here that a disciple is a person who follows someone else’s teachings, resulting in changes in the subject’s life.
So with that in mind, let’s look at an example of a good disciple in the Bible.
So there’s this guy called Blind Bartimaeus who appears in two of the Gospels; Mark and Luke. And there is a bit of a conundrum in the two recollections of the story because in Luke, Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus as he is entering Jericho (Luke 18:39), whereas in Mark, Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus as he is leaving Jericho (Mark 10:47). The only logical explanation for this is that Bartimaeus had been calling out to Jesus for healing from the moment he entered Jericho, until the moment he had left.
But what can this tell us about discipleship?
Jesus uses the faith of this man as an example of true discipleship because he had a certain tenacity about him. Bartimaeus did not let his obstacles get in the way of his pursuit of Jesus, and he wholeheartedly searched for Jesus until he got a response.
This has clear implications for the Christian who wants to become greater disciples of Christ. They need to earnestly seek Jesus daily through practicing of spiritual disciplines (such as prayer and reading Scripture) and stay at it until they get a response. And we know that there will be a response because Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
So claim that promise and prepare yourself to be transformed as you become a great disciple for Jesus Christ.