Discipleship through Parenting
Have you ever thought about how you lead others? Author Mike Breen says, “Christians could be called shepherds from behind, sheep from the front. There’s always at least one person who is following your lead.”
We think discipleship, specifically leading someone who believes in Jesus to seek to follow Him in his or her daily life, is of extreme importance. We could evangelize the streets of Taipei 24/7, but this would only lead to a room full of spiritual orphans. It takes a village to raise a child… and a similar idea is true of young disciples. Evangelism and discipleship go hand in hand. Thank God He’s given us the Church, the Body, a family!
At Aroma church we are keying into what this process of discipleship looks like. It’s been on our hearts more and more recently. After all, our name is the Aroma. We help others smell, become, and spread. How are believers expected to spread if they don’t know how.
Paul stresses this process in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 4:15-16) when he says, “Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” The word for guardians here is one that is similarly used for teachers that taught young children. Paul is saying that you have many people to teach you, but you lack fathers. You lack those that you can imitate, because teachers are only around every so often.
We’re still learning what this looks like in the 21st century, but we’re encouraged as we see our community doing life together; after all, discipleship is leading someone to follow Jesus in his or her daily life, right? That means more than a once-a-week meeting or hang out. This Holy Spirit guided process happens in coffee dates, meals, and studying together. It’s when we spend time at the beach, getting haircuts, and even shopping for groceries. All the while we share our vulnerabilities and how God is growing us through them. As we seek Jesus and as we imitate those that are fathering us, others follow suit and imitate us in return. This is discipleship. So let me end this with a simple, yet challenging question. Why not you? Who are you fathering?
-By Justin Siemens