In the Old Testament Joshua was afforded the opportunity to grow alongside of Moses. We also read of how Elisha enjoyed the prophetic mentoring of Elijah. In the New Testament the first disciples had the advantage of physically living and learning in the presence of Jesus. Later Timothy and Titus had the advantage of living and learning in the shadow of Paul. As a matter of fact Paul had a special title for these two young men of God. He referred to both of them as a “son” in the faith (1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4).
Now that they were saved and actively serving in the church Paul felt compelled to personally disciple these young men in the faith. He was willing to invest in them. They were willing to learn from him. In his letters to them he would share instruction for Christian living, advice for faithful ministry, and timely encouragement for discouraging times. Some might argue that Timothy and Titus would have never developed as biblical disciples had it not have been for the investment of the apostle Paul. With that said the third ingredient in a recipe for biblical discipleship would be to seek the personal mentoring of someone like Paul from within your local church.
Unfortunately, your pastor and other ministry staff may not be available for this task. This doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t love the opportunity to personally invest in you. It just means that the demands of leading the ministry as a whole prevents them from having the time it will require. Therefore, you will want to build this relationship with another spiritually mature believer.
In some cases this individual will find you. But if this doesn’t happen then it will be your responsibility to initiate the relationship. This individual may be your Sunday School teacher or small group leader. It may be that its the class itself that functions in this role. Either way through this relationship you will learn and be loved. You will be prayed for, held accountable, and encouraged. If you find that you are having trouble making this connection then seek a recommendation from the pastor or ministry staff. They should be able to point you in the direction of someone who would make a great discipleship coach.
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