When Jesus walked the earth, He challenged the prevailing religious norms and beckoned His disciples to “follow Him.” His invitation was not merely to accompany Him but to be submerged into His life and this new culture. It was a transformative journey, a cultural baptism of sorts, where the disciples immersed themselves in the way of Jesus. This process is also known as discipleship by immersion, a complete submersion into a particular culture. As believers, we must ponder upon the culture we are immersing ourselves in daily, and, more importantly, what is influencing and discipling us.
Challenge Question 1:
Who or what is discipling you and your children? Consider the daily influences of music, media, peers, education systems, politics, or even churches. What values, beliefs, and behaviors are you picking up from these influences?
Challenge Question 2:
Think of a time when you traveled to another country. How did you naturally begin to pick up the language, dress, cultural practices, and more? Now, reflect on how you immerse yourself in your Christian faith. Are you actively and intentionally immersing yourself in the culture of Christ?
Challenge Question 3:
Consider the concept of apprenticeship and how it involves being submerged into a master’s life and culture. Are you willing to open your life, like the disciples did, to help others experience and learn from your way of life and faith?
The age-old practice of apprenticeship and the discipleship by immersion that Jesus initiated are powerful examples of transformation through close association with a mentor. This immersion into a new culture had a lasting impact not only on the disciples but also on the early Christian community.
In our contemporary lives, there is still great value in discipleship by immersion. Brad and I have opened our home to disciples, not just for them to hang out, but for them to live with us. Many have stayed with us for varying periods, during which they learned how to clean, discipline, communicate, and manage a family. In this close-knit environment, they experienced the ups and downs of life. We didn’t hide our “real, raw” moments, and in those times, there was a gleaning process—a mutual learning and growth.
The beauty of this immersion is that it helps both parties. The disciples receive hands-on training, while we, as mentors, receive help with chores, errands, and more. The heart of this concept echoes Jesus’ call to “follow me,” as we assist one another on this journey of faith.
Consider who God has brought into your life to is this season for you to disciple. Don’t miss the opportunity to open your life and let God present Himself through the way you live your life!
Father, I thank you for the transformative culture of following Christ. I recognize that my life is constantly being influenced and shaped by various sources. I choose to be aware of what is discipling me and I choose to be intentional in following YOU. I want share you through the ways of my life. May others see and be intrigued! In Jesus’ name, amen.
To learn more on this topic:
Read: Come & See: The Jesus Approach to Equipping Biblical Disciples: https://www.lisa-schwarz.com/discipleship-book/
Watch this YouTube Series: Discipleship 101: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaMLikcR9YvYwQWgN2IMGDg7qOHmAfs_l&si=1sMBW9Fyxjh4KPqz