If you want to grow for a season, plant trees; but if you want to impact the world for generations, plant people.
In every great business, in every great sports organization, and in every great church, you will find a common focus: a commitment to raising up leaders to become better than themselves. You will find assistants, apprentices, interns, and associate pastors being developed. It’s a master-level principle that matters to God.
We will all die one day, and what we leave behind is our investment in other people. We NEVER lose investing in people. Investing in people is similar to some plants: When they die, they give off seeds to replace themselves. One of the greatest rewards from God on Earth is being entrusted to teach his truths to someone else in family or friendship. That is where we get to become a “Paul” to a “Timothy.” Someday, you can become a “Bigger Tree.”
This stage isn’t something that happens overnight.
This comes organically over time. For some it’s a year, for others a decade, but it will happen as you pursue God. It is OK to be growing in God daily and be content with where he has you until he sees you’re ready to pour into somebody. The best mentors are those with experience, which comes over time. The Holy Spirit will lead you in discipling someone and will show you when the time is right.
Pursue the Great Commission
At the end of the book of Matthew—after Jesus had died on the cross, after he was raised from the dead, and after he reappeared to his followers—he left us with this final instruction:
This is called the Great Commission: Jesus’ instructions to go and make disciples (followers of Jesus) throughout the world. In other words, we are called to pass along the message of Jesus to others—to reproduce God’s work in our lives. This is what the movement of Get Rooted is all about. We pursue God deeply, and eventually we reproduce that into someone else. Awesome!
How cool is it that God wants us to go be his representatives and make disciples? When we look at being a “Paul,” it doesn’t mean we’re perfect or that God doesn’t need to keep working in our lives. It simply means that we get the opportunity to invest in the lives of others. Making disciples wasn’t an option from Jesus; he stated it as a mandate to his followers. The method of discipleship allows us to spread the message of the Good News.
Jesus was the ultimate at “reproducing” himself
Jesus understood the power of pouring into people. Jesus had a core group of disciples that he lived life with, taught, instructed, and led in things that would please God. People followed Jesus and left all things behind because they realized that following Jesus was more important than anything else.
As a “Paul,” you can:
· Grow others in the “Source” and understand the scriptures
· Provide guidance based on the Gospel
· Help identify problems and solutions
· Share stories from your life
· Lead another person closer to God
· Continue to grow daily and set the example in Jesus
· Lead with a spirit of humility
· Carve out time to be available
· Be a servant like Jesus
As you grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus and find yourself firmly planted, you will come to a place where you strive to offer insight into someone else’s life.
Dr. William Glasser, author of Choice Theory in the Classroom, conducted a study that suggests humans retain:
10 percent of what they read,
20 percent of what they hear,
30 percent of what they see,
50 percent of what they hear and see,
70 percent of what they discuss,
80 percent of what they experience,
and 95 percent of what they teach.
Not only does a mentor invest in someone else, a mentor also retains more of what he or she is teaching. In short, you grow closer to God as you teach others about him.
Characteristics you can seek in a “Timothy”
· A desire to know God
· A servant’s heart wanting to help others
· A teachable attitude
Why a “Paul” is important in the development of a “Timothy”
· You can encourage and stir up that person’s passion
· You provide an example of what Christianity looks like in real life
· You answer questions
· You show the love of God
· You help that person push through and not give up
· You let that person see the passion of God lived out in real life
· You help provide godly insight for all areas of their life, including home life, work, health, relationships
Investing in other people affects lives for generations to come. The desire to pour into someone else is the same pattern we see Jesus living in the Gospels. We get to be the “Bigger Tree” to someone else. Now we can provide others shade, rest, help, and direction on their journey with Jesus. Making disciples is the Great Commission, and how cool is it that Jesus lets us reproduce him into people!
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is today. The best time to invest in people was 20 years ago, and the second best time is today!
· We are commanded to go and make disciples
· Making disciples is the “Great Commission”
· Jesus made disciples - The method of discipleship allows us to spread the message of the Good News exponentially
· Becoming a mentor doesn’t happen overnight
· Being a “Bigger Tree” you help others grow in the “Source”
· You learn more when you teach something
· Impacting one person, can impact many others for Jesus—the Acorn/Forest Perspective
- Read the book 2 Timothy in the Bible, and think of yourself helping someone like Paul is leading Timothy
- Write down qualities that make you who you are
- Pray for ways you can use those qualities for discipleship
- Write down questions you have about “Reproduce: Finding a ‘Timothy’ to Mentor,” and bring them up to your Root Group Leader
- Write down areas you can be faithful in right now to prepare for the future of investing in someone else
A prayer for today
Lord, I pray that you will continue to root me into your soil for all the days of my life. God, I pray that by living in obedience to you and your Word, I can fulfill the Great Commission by reproducing your truths into other people. Thank you for setting the example; you’re awesome! Amen.