Discipleship with Jesus started with two simple words “Follow Me.” Those two words would not only change the twelve men that responded to the call, but generations of believers to come.
Discipleship is not just a Church event or program, it is a lifestyle; Jesus and the disciples where living it 24/7. Looking at this blueprint of discipleship I will use the acronym A.C.T.S. to share the four principles that helped me for the last 16 years in being a disciple of Christ. Let’s take a look at the A.C.T.S. of a disciple;
A stands for being available. For a disciple it is important to be available, cause you never know what’s going to happen or when opportunity will knock at your door.
It is like the money on your bank account. Just look at your bank statement for a minute. If you look you will see a section saying; available balance. That money is available, whether you use it or not. I don’t think you would be thrilled if the money decided to go elsewhere just because you don’t use it. I know a handful of people that decided to leave their post just because they were not being used right away or the way they wanted to. Being available will also test and develop your patience, which is very important because discipleship takes time, Jesus spend about three years to prepare His disciples for the work of the ministry.
C stands for connected. Connecting is crucial for the disciple, for it creates a lifeline. Through this lifeline we will be able to ‘catch the heart’ of our leader. Being connected improves the relationship, it builds a mutual trust. When we connect, we start to understand our leader and know what makes him or her ‘tick’. Getting to know somebody takes time it does not happen overnight, it is hard work and takes commitment. It is not enough to be just around a person. We can be around people for years and still don’t really know them. One thing that really helped me to get connected with my leader is; don’t be afraid to asking questions, and that brings me to my next point.
T stands for teachable. Disciple means pupil we need to be students always maintaining a learning posture. Somebody ones said; “You can not learn from what comes out of your own mouth”. It is okay for a season to be ignorant, but when we think we arrived and know it all, we become arrogant. Looking at the way Jesus taught His disciples you can see a few things; He modeled what he taught, He had them put into practice the lesson, He corrected them and finally He released them.
S stands for servanthood we can never stay away from the true motive of discipleship: Servanthood. Jesus made it very clear to the disciples, to be great does not mean to be served, but to serve. As a disciple it is important to develop a sensitivity for the need; see the need, feel the need and meet the need. When we step away from meeting the need of others and making others meet our needs, we disciple to self and conform to the worlds system of servanthood. Servanthood Jesus’ way, goes hand in hand with sacrifice and suffering, it is never easy or comfortable, but it is worth it, and so is discipleship.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” – 2 Timothy 2: 2