Today, we are living in a very fast-paced society. We are being bombarded from every direction with people and things that are placing demands on our time and resources. We have become entangled by our constant need for affirmation. As Christians, this creates a problem in our focus. Most of our time and energy is being invested in temporary things, and very little is being invested into what is eternal. Even as parents, our attention to our children and to the future of their success can cause us to become overcommitted, draining us of valuable time; all for a feeling of accomplishment. Unfortunately, there are no rewards in heaven for how successful your children become, for building a successful business, or even for faithful church attendance. Jesus placed a lot of emphasis on being “doers” and not just being “hearers.” He has commanded us to preach the gospel of the Kingdom and to make disciples. Discipleship is “mentoring.” It is important that we do not enter heaven’s gates alone, but that we have someone we were able to shepherd who can join us.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus said that we were to become witnesses of Him. This word witness is the Greek word martyr. Yes, this word is related to dying, but in this context, not literally. Jesus is implying sacrificial living. After all, what good is a dead witness? We are to give up our personal pursuits and become a credible representation of Christ. We become spiritual examples and mentors, who give ourselves and our time to rescue, and then develop others into mature Christians.
Often we see in the church those who have come from the world into the Kingdom and we act as if getting sinners saved is the only objective; as if there is nothing left to do except wait and see if it sticks! This thinking has resulted in a poor retention rate of new believers. When Jesus said to “make disciples,” He meant to take them under our tutoring, supervision, and provide accountability. Showing them, with unconditional love and patience, how to feed themselves on the Word of God. How to walk out this spiritual life and how to get up when they fall. How to forgive themselves and others. How to abstain from sinning and repent when they do sin, so that Satan does not have a foothold on them. Showing them that in Christ they are made righteous and that they are now justified; no longer called “sinners,” but “sons.” This is the focus of the Great Commission.
Spiritual mentoring insures that there is a continuous and thriving Church in the future. When Jesus chose His disciples, He did not choose them so that He would have an entourage. He chose them so that He could duplicate Himself in them and then send them out to do what He had demonstrated.
As we lead, we become accountable for the lives that are depending on us. It drives us to study the Word of God, and it compels us to live a clean and credible life, always being aware that we are the example. We must depend on the Lord to give us wisdom and strength as we lead.
I believe many of us have been under the impression that you must be a “seasoned” Christian to make disciples. But this commandment from the Lord was for all: both young and old! We are all at varying stages of Christian maturity and yet we all have something to give to those who are coming up behind us. You don’t have to be a theologian to mentor someone. The greatest gospel you can ever preach is your own testimony. There is always someone who needs to know how you overcame. Your story can change the course of someone’s life and as they look to you, you must lead.
About the Writer
Lael LeBlanc Sr. is the Associate Pastor and Evangelistic Director of Crosstown PH Church in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He travels and evangelizes internationally throughout the year with Pastor Wesley Berry, speaking at conferences and crusades in Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America. Lael is the owner and operator of LeBlanc Construction, and has been working in this industry for over 20 years. He has a heart for discipleship, and seeing the unchurched experience the love of God. Lael is married to his lovely wife of 23 years, and they have three children.