Let’s Be More Imitators Than Innovators

Brandon Guindon - Senior Pastor | Real Life Ministries Texas, Tomball, TX

Many pastors, leaders and church goers gaze beyond the scriptures to find ideas or strategies to make disciples. Why? What seems to be celebrated or gaining the most attention by the church are those with the most innovative ideas. Over 23 years of ministry I often see the momentum of the collective church body shift to a new curriculum or model of ministry. The shiny new ideas, curriculum or strategies get many excited yet often when they are attempted to be put into practice often fall short of the desired results. When we think of the Great Commission that Christ gave to His church and called everyone to go live out why would we not first deeply examine the life of the greatest disciple maker to ever walk the face of the earth? What can we learn about His life and apply to our own lives so that we personally live out the timeless methods? To answer those questions, we must look to Him as our model.

The Scripture almost seem to jump off the page. I sat at my dining room table doing my morning Bible study and I had one of those moments. If you have studied the Bible for very long you know what I am talking about. The Holy Spirit seemed to take his own highlighter and illuminate a passage. My Bible was open to 1 Thessalonians 1. My eyes poured over the verses until 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8. With an almost audible screeching sound my heart leapt, and my eyes stopped. Here is the passage I was reading:

6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8

I encourage you to read the passage several times and then consider these thoughts that were life impacting for me and how I view intentional disciple making. From the verses we need to take some important cues and lessons for us to apply the biblical art of disciple making.

The church in Thessalonica was changing the world. They were the epitome of what a disciple making church would look like and Paul praises them for it. They were the model. For you and I to be intentional disciple makers that are world changers like our ancient brothers and sisters we must too be imitators. We follow the model set by Christ. Let us consider the implications in our lives when we imitate Christ and follow His model to be intentional disciple makers. When I read the 1 Thessalonians passage, I take away these points for application when imitating Christ and being a model for intentional disciple making.

  1. We imitate Christ regardless of circumstances. Despite sever persecution and difficult circumstances they imitated Christ.
  2. We all can be imitators. Being disciple makers is something they became, and they learned it from those that were imitating Christ.
  3. We all can impact the world we live in. The model they lived changed their region of the world.
  4. We all can be part in seeing the Kingdom expand. Because they imitated, the message went beyond them to the rest of the world.

Imagine the impact for those of us that are committed to both the biblical message and methods of Christ. I believe our imitation would create a motivation for others to experience the kind of influence we read about from the early church.

by

Brandon Guindon
Senior Pastor
Real Life Ministries Texas
Tomball, TX