This is my little boy Samuel ‘taking a picture’. He is in his high chair, with his toy phone, taking a picture of mummy……………..

He’s doing it because he’s seen daddy do it. He copying what he’s seen.

In discipleship there is a key stage which is usually missed – the imitation

Too often people want information – tell me how it works, what are the key
principles, what should I do. Once they have this information they look to
apply it to their own life. There’s just one problem – they’ve never seen it in

Usually as people apply this information in their life (the innovation stage – the information having a new application in an individual’s life) without having
seen it in action the chance of success is drastically minimised.

It may work for a while – but they don’t know why it’s working.

It may fail spectacular – but they don’t know why.

It may work and then settle back to the status quo – the “I tried that but it
didn’t work” response.

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples the master plan and then leave them to it. After the sermon on the mount, His ‘this is how you should live’ talk, He didn’t follow it by ‘I’m off, you go do it yourselves’ !!!

There was a whole stage where Jesus modelled it. The word became flesh. The disciples where close enough to see it in action. He lived out all he said. His life was His message. Just think, Jesus never asked them to do anything He’d not already done Himself.

The apostle Paul got it too. ‘Imitate me as I imitate Christ’. ‘Remember how I was when I lived amongst you’. ‘Follow the pattern I taught you’. He lived out his message and called others to look like him as he tried to look more like Jesus.

As we think about discipleship – we need to think imitation, modelling, apprenticeship – not the ‘classroom then do it yourself approach’ we so often use.

As we think about parenting – we need to think about imitation, modelling,
apprenticeship – not ‘do as I say not as I do approach’.

I don’t know about you but my kids (and the people I disciple) copy what I do not what I say – if I pray, they pray. If I respect Anna, they respect Anna. If I treat
everyone well, they treat everyone well. If I read the bible, they read the
bible. If I help around the house, they help around the house. If I speak
encouragement, they speak well. You get the picture………..

A few questions for you to reflect on

– is your life with imitating?

– who’s imitating your life?

– Are they close enough to see enough to be changed?

Posted by rich