Who are you helping to get established in their faith journey?
I learned the value of helping someone get grounded in their relationship with Jesus after meeting with Andy Puleo, the director of the Navigators at Ohio University when I first started in campus ministry. Andy showed me “The Wheel illustration,” which served as an image of what we are striving for in helping students become obedient Christians. The hub of the wheel is Christ, which refers to the aim of our discipleship, to see men and women become Christ-like.
The four spokes are the Word, prayer, fellowship, and witness. We need to help young converts learn to hear, read, study, memorize, and meditate on God’s Word regularly. Then we respond to God in prayer. We need to model and instruct young believers how to cultivate healthy, mutually supportive relationships, and be a witness to their friends of who Jesus is.
I have read that when employees were asked what makes a good apprentice, they answered they wanted, “someone who wants to learn.” Other answers included, “qualities like patience, working hard, taking initiative, dedication, perseverance, and having diverse skills.”
Read Joshua 1:1-7.
When I think of good apprentices that are mentioned in Scripture, I think of Joshua, who trained and served under Moses. Joshua’s march around Jericho is a famous story many remember because of the circumstances before and after. But Joshua also had some significant responsibilities as a warrior (Exodus 17:10), and as an advance scout (Numbers 13:16).
Joshua served for 40 years under the leadership and tutelage of Moses. He was a trusted aide, assistant, and apprentice (Exodus 24:13). Did you catch what I just said? 40 years!
God often takes a lot of time to prepare men and women for transformational leadership in His Kingdom. Sometimes a period of waiting is as valuable as learning disciplines, strategies, and reaching goals to lead others towards. My guess is Joshua became a better leader because he had the chance to shadow Moses and learn from his example, mistakes, failures, and triumphs.
He saw Moses lose his temper (Numbers 20:7-12). Joshua observed Moses growing faith and dependence on God, when for example, Moses learned about humility (Numbers 12:3). Joshua was watching when Moses learned how to take instructions from another in authority (Exodus 17:10). Joshua took notes about how to be a true servant of God (Joshua 1:1, 24:29), and benefitted from so much access to Moses’ life and friendship. He observed, absorbed, and learned how to know and serve God. What a mutually beneficial relationship they shared.
Ultimately, Joshua’s own time of service and leadership was coming. When that time came, he showed that he had been paying attention all along. Joshua learned from Moses that he could trust God’s promise to him. “As I was with Moses, so will I be with you” (Joshua 1:5).
Live communally. Are you in the role of an apprentice right now? What lesson can you learn from Joshua? Are you investing in another person? What can you learn from Moses? Today’s lessons prepare you for service tomorrow. Pay attention and do your best to be ready.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz