“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”2 Timothy 2:2
A guy I’ve been mentoring for awhile told me recently that he was able to share hope and encouragement in Christ to someone who had reached out to him for help. In sharing with me about the conversation he had with this person, he said, “I just did with him what you do with me.”
It’s thrilling enough to learn a truth about God on your own. It’s even amazing to see someone you’re discipling begin internalizing a truth that you’ve taught them. But there’s an even deeper joy that comes when they then begin teaching others what you’ve been teaching them.
What Snacks Teach Us About Making Disciples
The snack habits of my family actually provide a good illustration of this.
I have a tendency to be a bit selfish. So when I make a snack, I often just make a snack for myself. (I know. I know. I’m the strongest evidence for total depravity in my family)
My wife, on the other hand, is much more selfless than me. So when she makes a snack she will almost always make some for herself and for me.
But when my mom and my mother-in-law get asked by one of their grandkids for a snack, they don’t just give that one grandkid a snack. No, they send enough snacks along with that grandkid to share with all the other grandkids too.
We need to be mindful of these different “snack” levels in how we approach making disciples within the church. Let me explain.
This Is For Me
At this level, I’m only focused on myself. What does this church offer me? How is this church meeting my needs? If I feel slighted or feel like my needs aren’t being met, I will shop around for other churches that will meet my needs. I likely won’t make disciples when I’m stuck at this level. And churches that cater only to meeting superficial needs won’t likely make disciples either.
This Is For Me To Share With You
At this level, I know the hope and love of Jesus myself and I want to share that same hope and love with others as well. I’m willing to set my own needs aside and show compassion to others. Some discipleship will happen at this level, but the ripple effects will be stunted if the person being discipled doesn’t in turn share what they’ve received with others. There is limited potential for multiplying spiritual generations at this level.
This Is For Me To Share With You To Share With Others
But this level is where multiplication happens. At this level, I know the hope and love of Jesus myself. I share that same hope and love of Jesus by discipling others. But instead of ending there, I then equip and train those I disciple to share that same hope and love by also discipling others. In other words, I disciple disciple-makers. At this level, there is greater potential for multiplying spiritual generations to take root.
Don’t Be Selfish With Your Snacks
So don’t be selfish with your snacks. Pursue discipling relationships that prepare and equip those being discipled to become disciple-makers themselves for the glory of God.