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In a world of lifecoaches, web-seminars and podcasts to almost anyone, it seems as though there is accessablitity to almost everyone around every corner.  In my pocket, not only do I have Hillsong worship, Ed Sheeran, Phil Whickam, Calvin Harris and Pitch Perfect Soundtrack (for my daughter, ok, don’t judge me but that “Cups” song though…) but I also have hundreds of leaders in my pocket on my ipod that I can listen to for talks on leadership, wisdom and spiritual growth.  As convenient as it is to have some of the best models of brilliance and innovation a simple screen touch away, it seems as though it may be short-circuiting our need for quality, one-on-one relationships.  

 

The world craves mentorship but our cravings as Chrsitians are different…we crave discipleship.  Mentorship has it’s influence from Buddhism to Hinduism to many other world religions.  Our culture understands and practices mentorship but is unfamiliar to discipleship. Not only does our culture not understand discipleship, it needs discipleship.  In a culture where friendships and communication can be said to be cheap and shallow, one of the best ways Christianity can really be unique and show it's potency is when we pursue and live out discipleship.  The challenge:  What if we stopped seeking mentorship and started seeking discipleship?

 

Mentorship is gaining experience but discipleship is learning obedience.  The wisdom we gain from the experiences of others is valuable.  No question.  But discipleship is that and much more.  Discipleship is unique to Christianity because it moves the mentee beyond experience into a deeper level of relationship.  To really understand the meaning of discipleship, we have to understand the ancient Jewish way of education. For the Jews, education was one of their highest values. It was the way that they passed on their faith to the next generation. The Jewish community often expressed this blessing : “Always be covered in the dust of the rabbi and drink in his words as though you are very thirsty.” His prayer was that a disciple would walk so closely with his rabbi that the very dust from the rabbi’s feet would cover him.  A sacred cloud that would be a mark of spiritual success.

 

I live in the desert.  I understand dust.  My family and I went on a hike recently to climb San Tan Mountain over school break.  When we reached the top, my boy who was behind me was following me in a cloud of dust that we carried back down the mountain to one of our favorite Mexican Restaurants.  When we walked in the door to sit down, what did Heidi say to my children as most moms do, “Go wash off the sacred dust of your father, young ones.  For your journey today was sacred and most valuable to your destiny.” 

 

I wish Heidi would have said that. 

She didn’t. 

She actually said, “You’re dirty and disgusting from your hike.  Clean hands please.  Go to the restroom.  Now...or no chips and salsa.”  

 

You were made to follow someone.  A profound theological thought is this:  when God sent His Son into the world, He came as a first-century Galilean rabbi.  Not a ruler, politician or businessman but a teacher {Mark 9:5; John 1:38; 20:16}.  The Teacher/student relationship was critical for Kingdom advancement.  It's said Jesus spent over 80% of his time in his ministry with the 12 disciples.  It was not just a University style lecturer-listener dynamic or a transmission of information, but there was something more powerful going on. A discipleship relationship is a rich, transformative and extremely vital to the new young believer to have in their life.  This is how we are wired to grow.

 

Who I follow in life is more critical to my future than what I do in life.  That’s why I encourage young believers to abandon the desire to "chase a career" and "chase a calling" instead.  That’s when you get the taste of dust in your mouth.  Because the callings of God have a cloud of dust attatched to it of those who have gone on ahead of you to prepare the way for you.  These people are attatched to your calling that function beyond just information but thrives by impartation.

 

Some brief inventory questions to ask yourself: 

Who am I following right now?

Who is following me right now?

Where am I going and how am I getting there?

Who is modeling where I want to be spiritually in 10 years?

Who has permission to speak truthfully into my life?

Who is up close enough to see my flaws and imperfections?

 

 

Here are 7 Scriptures to get you motivated as a New Young Christian to seek out Discipleship:

 

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:2

 

Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

 

Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.  1 Thessalonians 2:8

 

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9

 

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19-20

 

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.  Proverbs 13:20

 

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.  Hebrews 13:7

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