In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul gives his friend and mentee Timothy the following charge:
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
Paul reminds us that true disciple-making – learning to be, say and do life like Jesus in the power of the Spirit – must involve reproduction. In fact, if you look at 2 Timothy 2:2 as a generational baton pass – it portrays Paul as a spiritual Father to Timothy, a spiritual-grandfather to Timothy’s followers and a spiritual great-grandfather to those who follow them.
This verse (and Psalm 78:6 as another example) challenge us to grow the faith of others and then help them to do the same.
And in the process our own faith will grow.
Genuine disciple-making is a commitment to multi-generational, reproduction – disciples making disciples. What happens when we don’t embrace this? Read Judges 2:10 to see how the baton was dropped after Joshua.
Paul understood that we can never reach our full potential in Christ without a number of truly accountable, growth relationships.
In our journey of faith, we must remember that:
- We are ‘learners’ – we need to be connected to people ahead of us who can disciple, mentor, coach and teach us. People we LEARN from.
- We are ‘travellers’ – we need to be connected to ‘running mates’ or ‘soul friends’ who journey alongside us, doing accountable life together. People we do LIFE with.
- We are ‘teachers’ – we need to be connected to people who we develop and disciple, passing on the baton of faith, and helping them to do the same. People we LEAD.
If we’re going to see a genuine embracing of Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28:18-20) then perhaps we need a renewed commitment to intentional, multi-generational, baton-passing, disciple-making that embraces all three of these vital roles, for the long haul.
After all, the only thing you can take to heaven with you is people. It’s the greatest legacy you can leave – seeing the baton of faith pass from generation to generation. Think about it – that’s how you came to Jesus.
Over the last 2,000 years the baton of faith has been passed from Jesus, through his first disciples, on to others, and eventually to you. Will you drop the baton or will you make that same commitment? Imagine what would happen if every Jesus follower was committed to grow their faith and the faith of others?
Where to start?
- Pray that God will show you who you could invest in – just one life matters
- Re-orient your diary to make time to spend helping, encouraging and praying with them every week if you can. Can you spare an hour per week as an eternal investment?
- Explore with them how Jesus wants to impact the whole of their life (spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially etc), and keep them accountable for growing and impacting the lives of others.
- Encourage them to get stuck in to sharing Jesus’ love and sharing his message in their world, in the power of the Spirit. Faith is more caught than taught after all.
It’s a privilege and honour, and challenge of course, to invest your life in someone.
Why settle for anything less?