A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
When planning the goals and high points of a ministry that is charged with making disciples of all nations, the clear goal of the task is given for us by Jesus Himself. Jesus shows us the maturity process in a simple explanation: “everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Paul knew this. This is why He said simply to those he trained in ministry: “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” Disciples grow to the level of maturity of those who disciple them. And disciples learn by doing what their teacher does. Nothing too complicated about that.
There are a couple of implicit requirements. The first (re-iterated to me recently by reading “The Trellis and The Vine”) is that disciples are not fully disciples until they are disciple-making disciples. The second requirement is that the disciple-maker was guard, build, and grow in his own spiritual walk above all else, since the goal is imitation of the teacher and hence THE TEACHER, Jesus Christ.
Again, this week has been consumed with thinking through advance planning thoughts for the coming year. And as I have done so, God has blessed me with particularly timely episodes from Jesus on the process of ministry and discipleship. Mill Creek can build a great discipleship map filled with programs, curriculum and experiences for the disciple. But we must not lose sight of the goal: to grow people to be like Jesus. And we must not bury the process in administrivia: keep disciples focused on imitating the spiritual maturity of those discipling them,