During October we’re focusing on learning to disciple. Please see the Monthly Prayer Focus page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Jill Weatherhead
1 Corinthians 3
Recently I was asked to participate in a game called Follow the Leader. The exercise was such that at first I was the leader someone had to follow, and then I was the follower having to lead. The question after this exercise was, “Who is following you?”
The idea of making disciples is similar to this idea of following the leader. Paul writes more clearly about what this looks like as he addresses the church at Cornith.
The argument that came up in the church was the question, “Who are you following, Paul or Apollos?” Paul reminds the church that both were ministering servants. He says “I planted, Apollos watered, but God was making it to grow and gave the increase.”
As I sit in the office in Madang I see many examples of ministering servants. There are checking sessions happening in the conference rooms. A consultant has come from the US to help a language program check translated portions getting ready for printing. A man comes in from the village and tells of a family member that is in the hospital; someone stops and prays for this man as well as for the family member. A visitor comes for a short visit and goes out to the village to help with the recording of Old Testament books. Another person goes out to teach at a Bible college. All of these people are leading and, in effect, are making disciples. Those watching and experiencing these actions will learn how to lead.
In all these ways these people are ministering to the people around us. In this way we live out what it means to be making disciples.
Going back to what Paul wrote, it reminds me that at various parts along this journey of life, we are all needed to help lead others to increased knowledge of the gospel, in essence to make disciples. It isn’t like the game Follow the Leader because we don’t want people blindly mimicking what we do. We want people to follow Jesus. The other part of this verse reminds us that we are part of the gardening process. Some of us will be sowers, planting the seeds. Others will be the ones who water. However, it also reminds us that it is God who will make growth happen.
The task then is for everyone. And whether a person can be full time living in Papua New Guinea, or if they make a shorter visit, each can contribute to this task of making disciples. We need people willing to model Jesus and in that way there will be disciples of Jesus who will reach out to those in their neighborhood.
Jill works in administration alongside her husband, Norm, who is the Director of Language Affairs.