I appreciate these words from Larry Osborne on what he wishes he had known about discipleship:
I once thought that discipleship was something for super-saints. I thought that when you made a disciple, you made a leader. So I pressed everyone to become the equivalent of a spiritual Navy SEAL.
That worked out great for those who were cut from the cloth of leadership, high drive, and type-A personality. They loved it. But it also left a lot our sheep beat up and bleeding. Those with quiet personalities, lower drive (some might call it contentment), and background gifts were left to feel inadequate and worthless. I had no plan for them. And, worse, I’d become an Accidental Pharisee, harshly judging everyone who was behind me in the following-Jesus line.
I pressed everyone to become the equivalent of a spiritual Navy SEAL. I wish I’d known that a disciple is simply a follower. It includes everyone in the following-Jesus line. Some are at the front. Some are in the middle, and some bring up the rear. But by definition, they are all disciples. The Greek word for disciple (mathétés) means “follower, learner, pupil.” It’s not for star students only.
The result was a lot more grace, a lot more patience, and a lot less Pharisee.
I am prone to being a Pharisee, especially when people don’t “get it” the way I want them to. More grace.