It was not until I saw my need for discipleship that I began to understand Jesus. At first, I understood him to be my Savior and God and all my spiritual activities revolved around that. I evangelized and “discipled,” but no one was discipling me. I had some “mentors” but I had no real spiritual connection with them. Most mentors are not disciplers.
Even as a pastor, I evangelized and “discipled” [I did it as a church program] even when no one was discipling me. I never had the experience of being really under someone as my spiritual discipler who would check, monitor, teach, train, and scold me and be my spiritual father eventually. Well, everybody wanted to check, monitor, teach, train, and scold me, especially my local church board and other nosy pastors, but I wasn’t really spiritually connected to them. A lot of people are just nosy folks, not disciplers.
You should be deeply connected to your genuine mentor spiritually as the apostles were to Jesus. Even Paul had a personal encounter with Jesus and it was He who taught him personally. Later, Paul and Timothy had spiritual “blood” ties in their discipleship, with Paul regarding Timothy (and Titus) as “son.” And your discipler should be your discipler for life. With a lot of Christians, they change “discipler” once their church gets a new pastor, or when they transfer to another church. This is why a lot of Christians today are spiritual orphans that later turn into unruly spiritual “street children.”
I call them Ishmaels because Ishmael was illegitimate and later wanted to kick Isaac, the genuine son, out although Ismael was also a real child of Abraham. Spiritual Ishmaels are not directly under anyone for discipleship. They claim to be discipled directly by Jesus himself. Well, unless they’re another Paul in the making, they’re merely fooling themselves.
You cannot really begin to understand Jesus until you obey him and be under a genuine discipler who also pursues Jesus through the Jesus Discipleship. Your discipler should be discipled by another who is also being discipled by another. And all of you should be desperately pursuing to possess the Jesus DNA into your bodies so you can manifest Jesus in your bodies in ever-increasing glory.
Thus, I see a lot of so-called discipleships and cell groups merely functioning as another church program aimed at three things:
- To keep their church membership intact.
- To keep members busy.
- To recruit new church membership.
It’s all merely for denominational expansionism. It’s not to build the denominationless Kingdom of God on earth through the glorious church of Jesus Christ which is without spot or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and pure. Until you become flesh and blood for Jesus in a genuine Jesus Discipleship, you will never attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ. You won’t understand the Master except through a glass darkly, never face to face.