When I first started diving in to discipleship, I remember a conversation I had with a priest friend of mine. We were discussing how everyone should be “discipled” and what that looks like. The question that the priest asked me, though, was “who is supposed to disciple me (the priest)?”
One thing I have found to be very common in places where discipleship is active is that people feel this “need” to be discipled by another person. I thought it would be good to start my new blog by giving a few points that help answer the concerns of this priest.
Weekly Discipleship is Not the Only Way
We can be a disciple of Jesus Christ without the weekly challenges or meetings with a peer. I would consider myself a disciple of Jesus Christ and I don’t meet regularly with anyone for the sake of discipleship. I do have a spiritual director, but his primary goal is to direct my spiritual life. I also strive to find good men in my life who are older and wiser and are able to hold me accountable to being a good father and husband. The love I have for my wife challenges me each day. To be blunt, I probably don’t have time for a weekly adult discipleship group.
Discipleship With a Person is Different Than Discipleship in Jesus Christ
Discipleship is discipleship whether it’s with another person or with Jesus Christ (see the Four Earmarks). Discipleship in Jesus Christ consists of active engagement in relationship with Him through the Sacraments, prayer, Etc. However, discipleship with another person looks like the Four Earmarks but with the intent and accountability of growing in relationship with Jesus Christ (who is also a person I know!).
Discipleship Needs to be Sought Out
Sirach 6:36 says “If you see an intelligent man, visit him early; let your foot wear out his doorstep.” If you feel like you do not have the accountability you need for your own faith development, seek it out. Find people who are faithful, and “wear out their doorsteps.” I actually intend sometime this week to ask a good man to begin mentoring me as a father and husband because I know I could use more accountability and wisdom in those areas of my life. The man I am asking is a great husband and father, and I pray he will accept my invitation. I am seeking him out. Take time to discern the areas with which you struggle, and seek people out to help you.
So if you are waiting around for someone to ask you into discipleship, you may be waiting a while. Seek people out to disciple you. Most people would be honored to be asked.
Now to the priest who I mentioned earlier: I know you understand this and thank you for letting me use you as an example. You are a very holy disciple of our Lord. Thank you for your ministry to the Church and for the many disciples you have equipped in the world!