LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Imitating Jesus

I mentioned on Monday that I've been reading some books about discipleship. But I have a confession to make about Imitating Jesus by Lewie Clark. I read it partially because of the content, and partially because of the author. You see, Lewie has been a great friend since I was 18-years old. He had a hand in my own spiritual development and leadership growth, and was a groomsman in my wedding. We've kept in touch consistently since our paths went different directions in 1993. It honors me when someone reads my books. So I wanted to honor Lewie by reading his book.

But I wasn't ready for his book to significantly impact me. Imitating Jesus gave me a better understanding of true discipleship than I've ever had before. I finished the book a couple weeks ago and haven't stopped thinking about it. It has impacted my discussions and some of my decisions. I bought six additional copies for friends.

The book is barely more than 100-pages, but it is gold.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • "The disciple-maker's core mission is to help the disciple know--really know--that God loves him."
  • "Disciple-making comes down to love and friendship. Get those two basic things right, and you can make disciples."
  • "One cannot expect people who have not been discipled to behave like disciples in community."
  • "Disciple-making is not an equipping course on how to do ministry. Disciple-making at its core is learning--and demonstrating--how to relate lovingly to God and others."
  • "Conflict in a community of believers is not a disruption to the purpose of God but a chance to express his forgiveness, love and compassion."
  • "Disciples are best made in the context of a spiritual family. As long as we ignore this fact and choose instead to anchor our disciple-making in programs, we will frustrate the disciples and the disciple."
  • "Sadly, the same parents who have raised godly children often feel inadequate to make disciples of Jesus because Christianity has turned discipling into an educational method through curriculum, classrooms, and certification rather than a family relationship."
  • "Serving and disciple-making are inseparable."
  • "Discipleship is, to borrow a phrase from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, life together. I should become acquainted enough with the life of my disciple to recognize opportunities to serve him."
  • "Be watchful of conflict and be prepared to train your disciples through it. This is when they can learn some of the most significant life lessons--forgiveness, humility, genuine love, praying with intensity, not spreading gossip, being patient. Don't waste these moments."

I've only shared a few nuggets. I encourage you to get a copy of Imitating Jesus, dive in, and let me know if it had the same impact on you.