Who is Following You?

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)

In our faith, we follow in someone’s steps. In our faith, we leave footprints to guide others. It’s the principle of discipleship. – Max Lucado

The apostle Paul sent the letter we call Ephesians, to his son in the faith, Timothy. Paul wanted to encourage him to be strong as Timothy served the church of Ephesus.

Timothy’s role was to build up the church during a time when leadership was weak and potentially yielding to falsehood. Paul was in prison, so he was unable to go to Ephesus himself. Instead, he sent his disciple to correct the church, and disciple their leaders. Paul’s goal was to advance the Gospel by training individuals who would then train others. 

Everything Timothy was taught regarding Jesus came from Paul, his spiritual father, and teacher. Timothy’s schooling began early; he was first called into service (Acts 16) to assist Paul. They traveled throughout Asia preaching the Gospel. Imagine all the wonders that young Timothy saw, heard and experienced. Paul wasn’t looking for cheap labor in Timothy, he was training his replacement. 

The pattern of discipleship is to hear, learn, grow and then teach others to hear, learn, grow and teach others. Jesus gave to His disciples all that the Father had given Him to teach. Consider Jesus’ words in His prayer to the Father, “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me” (John 17:7–8). Jesus made disciples and then, having made disciples, He sent them out to repeat the process. In the same way, Paul heard from Jesus and taught Timothy, who in turn taught others.  

Discipleship is not an option – it is a mandate for the Christ Follower. Jesus’ imperative, in Matthew 28:19, isn’t to go and make converts, but rather to go make disciples. Conversion is only the introductory part of discipleship. Spiritual maturity in Christ is the fulfillment of discipleship. 

So, who is following you?