Intentional Imitation

One of the most glaringly apparent omissions in our discipleship is the person doing the discipling. Our commitment to fleshing out our personal walks with Christ overlooks our need to learn from one another.


  • True discipleship prioritizes imitation over information.
  • Through our efforts, you would discern that we think the acquisition of quality content is the key to spiritual growth.
  • Each of us requires someone a little further ahead on the journey to point us in the right direction.
  • If you have been a part of a church or ministry, you have been discipled to a significant point.
  • Without having someone say “follow me,” you may be missing something in your spiritual story.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1

6 Common Components 

  • Event
    • Through what milestones did God change your life?
    • Whether a positive or a negative event, those moments often serve as catalysts for growth.
  • Environment
    • What regular faith gatherings shaped who you are today?
    • These regular faith gatherings served as a consistent greenhouse to grow your faith leanings.
  • Equipment
    • What spiritual disciplines trained you to grow in godliness?
    • Every person genuinely advancing in faith has some habit they picked up along the way that increased their commitment.
  • Engagement
    • How did you intentionally invest in another with what you learned?
    • When a disciple begins to engage in the mission and give one’s life away, rapid growth is always a byproduct.
  • Encourager
    • Who is that friend or friends who walked beside you and pushed you toward Christ?
    • Most growing disciples had people spurring them on during critical junctures.
  • Example
    • Who is the example you aspired to follow?
    • This mentor displayed a rare personification of living for Jesus that seemed mesmerizingly contagious.

The Missing Element 

  • While your story may contain many of those elements, an intentional example is often lacking.
  • Christians often feel that their mentoring happened by default rather than by design.
  • Discipleship is often caught more than taught, and we need people in our lives from whom we can learn how to follow Jesus.
  • A severe deficiency in our discipleship process is that mentees seek mentors, yet mentors are often not taking the initiative with potential mentees.
  • Our negligence to pass on lessons learned to those behind us invites others to repeat our mistakes and remain ignorant of our guidance.
  • A discipleship plan is good for an individual, better with a partner, but best with a mentor. 

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

1 Corinthians 4:15

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men,* who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:2

*Anthropoi can refer to both men and women depending on the context