When Jesus was disciplining the twelve he didn’t just leave them after they accepted him. He walked with them during the journey of up and downs. He represented exactly what true disciple-ship looks like. In churches when new believers accept Christ that’s a great thing but what is even greater and just as important is that we continue to follow-up with these new followers and walk with them like Jesus did through their up’s and down’s through the joy’s and pain. To encouraged them through all these things helping them build a stronger faith. Jesus walking with them side by side allowed their faith to grow and because of that they became fishers of men.
When I think about what that looks like (true discipleship) it also reminds me of Paul, Barnabas, Silas and Mark. After they traveled into cities sharing the gospel and people accepted Christ. They made sure to travel back through all those cities to check up on them and continued to encourage them in their new walk building a solid foundation. That’s something that the church as a whole need to get back to taking the examples given by Jesus and the disciples as we continue to move forward on this journey for Christ.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders[a] for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.