One day when I was helping my wife in the nursery at church, I observed a fascinating interaction between two toddlers, Jared and Dillon.
Dillon was a gregarious fun-starter, moving with purpose around the room stirring up smiles where ever he went. Jared was a shy, sad little guy who sat off in the corner by himself, looking scared and detached from what was going on around him.
Dillon, having connected with every other toddler in the room, suddenly noticed Jared was being left out of the festivities. He toddled over to Jared and looked him square in the eye. Then he grabbed a nearby ball and placed it in Jared’s hands. He guided Jared in a throwing motion and then sat back and let the ball roll toward him. Then he rolled the ball back toward Jared. Dillon repeated this several times, until a little smile began to form on Jared’s face. Soon, a full-fledged game of catch ensued. Dillon had taught Jared how to play catch.
I felt the Spirit whisper to me, “that is discipleship.” And it dawned on me; too often we’ve either “dumbed-down” discipleship to a “fill in the blank” teaching session or we’ve made it a complicated, unattainable legalistic process that no one can master.
It’s really quite simple. Jesus modeled it—like Dillon did for Jared. He spent time with his disciples. He took them by the hand and showed them how to live life in God’s emerging Kingdom. And that’s what the Lord commands us to do—spend time with people. Help them learn what we’ve discovered about following Jesus. And then help them follow Him, too.