I was once accused by a fellow minister of “spending too much time with people.”
He said, “You should get that done in 5 or 6 times, tops!”
My reply, “What I do with those people is discipleship. It never ends….until we die.”
“Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” (Proverb 19:27)
The words “listening to instruction” have to do with “paying intelligent attention to warning, instruction, restraint, correction, discipline, doctrine, rebuke.”
These are, basically, the elements of “discipleship”.
There is a distinct benefit to humbly allowing another to get to know us, to allowing them to speak these things into our lives: we remain near the words of knowledge and our souls remain healthy.
There is, therefore, a danger when we cease to listen to instruction –
Classes, sermons, in-services, seminars, conferences, rallies, reading books ALONE……these are all good things and information CANbe transmitted from one mouth into many ears. However, NONE of this is discipleship.
The style Jesus chose was to live with, eat with, sit with, walk with, BE WITH…a handful of people.
He called these DISCIPLES.
The humility and vulnerability they practiced by interacting one on one with Jesus or with a small handful of other people and by letting Jesus “give instruction” (which, at times, stung) tilled the soil of their souls. The instruction saturated them.
We Christians exist as a people because they later practiced what they learned as disciples.
There are VERY few disciples in the Body of Christ today.
Discipleship has been shouldered aside by classes, sermons, in-services, seminars, conferences, rallies – almost all of which involve one person lecturing to others.
May we all seek out opportunities to TRULY be discipled and disciple others – and, may we never “cease listening to instruction”.