"Did you like it?" I asked, dying to ask her why she had waited so long to read it when I had been begging her to read the book for nine years!
"I tried to read it several times, but it isn't really light reading material," she informed me.
I nodded in agreement. It isn't light reading material. In fact, while most books we read are written at a fifth to eighth grade level, this book is written for college students so it is a more challenging read.
"I loved the book!" Laura broke into my thoughts. "You were right about it making you see all of life in a new way."
"Really. I'm so glad I read it. I'll never be the same!"
Along the way, Dr. Coleman became convinced that schools were not the answer to raising up mighty men of God. He carefully studied the life of Jesus, coming to the conclusion that Jesus knew exactly what He was doing in laying a foundation for the Church. Dr. Coleman values Jesus' pattern of ministry and embraces it in his own life.
Jesus spent His life calling people to repent and believe while healing the sick and injured, performing all kinds of miracles, and teaching His beloved people. However, He invested in a small group of men, His disciples. These He gave focused time and attention to for three years. He imparted to them truth and modeled a lifestyle that they could imitate. What a blessing to take a closer look at the life of Jesus!
The Body of Christ is called to fulfill the Great Commission by spreading the good news, leading people to Christ, and making disciples. We are called to evangelism. But, Dr. Coleman wants to make it clear that Jesus' definition of evangelism is broader than our own and involves mentoring people to a place of maturity.
Jesus carefully chose His disciples and then poured His life and love into them. He imparted His wisdom and vision into their lives, modeling how to make disciples and apprenticing them. What a perfect plan for us! His ways make perfect sense. You learn to be like the people you hang out with whether you want to or not. Who doesn't want to be like Jesus?
When I read this book, I jumped for joy! This pattern found in the life of Jesus was the pattern I wanted for my entire life. I wanted to minister in the local church by making disciples of other women. I wanted to parent by making disciples of my children. I shared the Gospel differently after reading this book. My purpose became to call my unsaved friends to be born again and live wholeheartedly for Jesus. I mentored the friends I led to Jesus and saw them grow up in the Lord and lead others to Christ. What joy filled my heart as I followed the Master Disciple-Maker!
Years later, I married the man of my dreams and God gave us five lovely children to raise for His glory. Again, I decided to follow that plan laid out in this book in my parenting. That sounds kind of strange, doesn't it? What a strange parenting book--a theological examination of the life of Jesus, focusing on how He makes disciples. But I have found it to be the best parenting book ever; in fact, it is a great book on homeschooling too. Because, you see, my heartbeat is to pass the baton of faith to the next generation and I cannot think of a more effective plan than the one Jesus used to mentor His disciples and build His church.
In my homeschooling and mothering, I have sought to impart love and wisdom to my children by investing time and energy into them as a priority in my life. I hug them, teach them, feed them, and share my life with them. With all my heart, I try to model a godly lifestyle and effective patterns of ministry. When they get older, I begin to mentor and apprentice them to walk in the call of God on their own lives. What a joy to make disciples in my own home!
Please join us at Finish Well to Learn more about the principles of mentoring your teens. There are several sessions that cover mentoring including Real Men & Wise Women Build, Teaching Character with Living Books & Mentoring, and Dealing with Rebellion. Check out the sessions for Finish Well 2012 and join us February 24-25, 2012. Be sure to register here!
For the Great Cause of Making Disciples!
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)