There comes a time in a child’s life where the parents must start trying to wean the baby off of milk, encouraging him to try other types of food. Every parent goes through this process with their child. The child is able to hold his own bottle and drink milk, or his cup and sip juice from it. However, when it comes to other food, he does not yet have all the knowledge and skills to be able to prepare his food and eat it without help.
This is where we as parents step in. We can fix his food for him, and we spoon-feed him until he learns to feed himself. As he matures and his skills develop, he will eventually move from the plastic baby utensils to real utensils.
Discipleship is no different. Discipleship is a process. You are advancing on your journey known as sanctification. When you are saved, the moment Christ radically changes your life, you embark on a new journey.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. -Luke 14:27
Discipleship is a lifelong process. It does not end until you die or Christ returns. You are constantly going to be learning. You are going to be shaped, pruned, chiseled, so that God can conform you more to the image of Christ.
This process is not a piece of cake. It is not a walk in the park. The word discipleship looks a lot like the word discipline because discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin root word from which we get disciple. You cannot be a good disciple and lack discipline. When we fail, whether intentionally or by accident, God is there to correct us and bring us back into right relationship with him.
Discipleship is a process. Some people mature faster than others. As you are on your journey, walk alongside someone and help them and guide them on their journey. Do life with them. Be a mentor. Show someone that they can move from the bottle to being spoon-fed to self-feeding.
You are not alone. You have other disciples willing to come alongside you and mentor you so that you may mentor someone else.
Jimmy Proulx is pastor of FaithPoint Community Church. He planted FaithPoint in 2011 in Warner Robins, GA. He has been married for thirteen years to his wonderful wife, Kristi. They have two awesome boys, Bryson, 5, and Luke, 3. They live in Byron, GA. Jimmy loves books and coffee—not in any specific order! Follow him on Twitter at @jimmyproulx.