Harvey Firestone once said, “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.” This is true in every area, but it is especially true in the church. Paul emphasized the importance of discipleship and mentoring in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
When a mature Christian nurtures a young Christian in the Lord through a discipleship relationship, the young Christian has the opportunity to observe in real time how the Christian life works. Here are five goals of what can be accomplished in a young Christian’s heart through discipleship:
- to know the joy of a committed life to Jesus
- to see that real Christianity is distinct from the pagan culture around us
- to realize that integrity must begin in our personal lives with God
- to know that fellow Christians are praying for them, and available to them
- to believe that God is able to do great things through surrendered people
It is a privilege to pass on to new Christians the truths others have handed to me. And it’s exciting to see them grow in the Lord and then eventually turn around to teach their new converts!