2006-03-09t09_42_23-08_001.jpgDiscipleship is a word thrown around quite a bit in the church.  I think many people immediately put discipleship into a neat little box or program that can move people along like an assembly line producing mature Christians.  But it doesn't work that way.  As much as we need a clear process to carry out discipleship within the local church, we must remember a programmatic, cookie-cutter approach is not what the Scriptures teach.  Today, I was struck again at the personal nature of discipleship when I read these words from Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:10:

You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings ...

For Paul, discipleship was all about life-to-life relationships.  Just like Jesus had told his disciples, "Follow Me", Paul called Timothy to follow him in every way.  Paul said, follow me in what I say (my teaching), in what I do (my conduct and aim), and who I am (my faith, patience, love, etc.).  This is all of life.  So as leaders we must follow Paul's example and be willing to invite people into our lives so they can follow us as we follow Christ in all of life.  That's the essence of discipleship at its most basic level.