2 KINGS 2:1-14
“Relational discipleship is the key to unlocking our original design.”
This is actually one of the core beliefs of BYG that we want to continue to instill and develop. We put the word “relational” to discipleship because there is a temptation to pass off discipleship as a ten week program that is one and done but fail to realize that discipleship at its core is a building up of a relationship. Discipleship is the method of church growth and the end goal is to follow Jesus as we look like Him in the process.
Today’s passage of Elijah passing on the prophetic mantle on Elisha is an example of discipleship and reveals several things.
As a discipler, the goal is for the disciple to be a lover of God and walk with Him.
If I am looking at a disciple that does everything right and even begins to do the things that I do but does not have a personal history/relationship with Jesus, than I failed. Doesn’t matter if our program is “successful.” Discipleship that does not have Christ at the center is pointless. In today’s passage, even after Elijah left, the question that Elisha asked was, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” He then proceeded to strike the water and it split just like before and the answer to that question was, “I am still here.” Elijah is gone, but God is not and therefore Elisha can continue on with the mission of being the prophetic voice to a broken kingdom.
Discipleship requires commitment
Three times Elijah tried to get rid of Elisha but Elisha refused three times but clung onto him as he followed. Elijah was testing the commitment of Elisha because to carry on the work that he was doing, he needed to know whether Elisah was just merely interested or committed for the ministry that he will inherit is not an easy one! Discipleship is a commitment to more than getting training or skills from someone, it is a commitment to live life together as you are working towards establishing the kingdom of God. Discipleship is not easy and it requires mutual submission and love for one another to work. The discipleship relationship requires a willingness to even live life together outside of “church” context but the true question we have to ask ourselves is why we choose to split “church life” with “regular life” when church is not a place we go to but who we are?
Discipleship continues the race
Like a relay team in track, the discipler is ultimately going to pass on the baton to the disciple. What is sad to see is when the discipler is so caught up in their own glory that they keep positions of leadership in a posture of fear of losing it and thus cripple the chances of developing the next generation. Similar to the first point, as a discipler, the ministry doesn’t end with you and will not end with your disciple but will continue on until Christ comes back. We therefore are not to simply be concerned about or own glory or achievements but be seeking to eventually have a plan of passing on the baton so that they may continue the race for however long it needs to go. This does not mean that the disciple has to do it the same exact way as their teacher but the purpose of making more disciples and glorifying God should be!
Discipleship is the key and we are slowly seeing society in general grasp the idea of the importance of tribes and mentorship. If we think our walks are just our own than we are sorely mistaken and must check ourselves. If you are a seasoned Christian and have not begun to think about discipling others than start praying and asking God for people to highlight. If you’re new and young, then it is time to seek guidance because no one in the history of man has ever been self-made for everyone has have help at one point in their lives!