following together

I am blessed to be a part of a mentoring group that meets in Waco once a month.  The discussion and direction is guided by Jim Martin who preaches at the Crestview Church.  Jim is a genuine, humble, passionate disciple of Jesus.  Qualities which when combined are a true rarity in this world and are precisely why our Father ministers so very wonderfully through Jim and his wife Charlotte’s life together.  Our group is comprised solely of ministers.  Specifically preaching ministers.  We pray.  We study.  We discuss.  We dialogue.  We decompress.  We challenge.  We pray some more.  It’s an amazing group to be a part of.  Everyone brings their own skill set to the group.  We each leave renewed and “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

As believers discipleship is what we are about.  Correct?  We’re called to be disciples.  We’re called to facilitate discipleship in one another.  It’s the nature of our calling in the Gospel message.  We look to Jesus as He calls the Twelve.  And yet, what we too often miss is that He calls them together.  As Jesus calls the Twelve to follow Him, He calls them to follow together.  He does not call them one at a time, each spending time with Him and then sent on their way to go and imitate Him in the world.  Rather, He calls them all to come and follow Him together.  Together.  At the same time.  I believe this is significant….

We need the relationships that only being a part of the body of Christ provides.  We need these Christ-centered relationships in order that we might live in to (and up to) our potential as believers.  If we are to be the men and women of faith our calling in Christ demands we must invest in a way of life that makes us more like Him.  A rhythm of life that is conducive to cross-shaping, heart-softening, and disciple-forging.

Certainly we bless and encourage and strengthen one another through our time together on Sunday or Wednesday (or any other time we come together).  Certainly our Father is the One who creates a wholeness within us that we attain nowhere else in this life.  And yet, following Him, not simply on our own, but together, is a crucial facet of faith.

It takes effort.  It takes an openness that we are often uncomfortable with.  It takes intentionality, because believe me it doesn’t just happen.  It takes God.  And it takes relationships that only He provides.  Relationships that are God-sent and God-designed.

Whether it’s driving over two hours to Waco or down the street at Panera Bread for coffee with a friend or in an office on Tuesday morning with faithful brothers in Christ or around your own dining room table in the evening with your wife and kids.  We need these relationships where we mentor one another.  Where we become a part of one another.  Where we aspire to the oneness that Christ prayed for on the night before the cross and the conviction that His cross demands.  Without them, we are less than who God intends for us to be.

Glory to God!


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