Love pursues. Your first step with a disciple is to pursue him. Just as Jesus chose his 12 disciples and as Paul chose Timothy, it is important for you to take the initiative in pursuing your disciple. This first step is key because it establishes the tone of the relationship and sets a trajectory for discipling relationships for generations to come. When others came to Jesus and reversed the initiative by asking to become his disciple he turned them away, which indicates the significance of the discipler pursuing the disciple. (Matt 8:19-22; Luke 9:57-62)
The good news of the kingdom is that the Father pursued man and adopted him into the family of God. As I pursue a disciple I am demonstrating to him and the world the pursuing love of God in the cross of Jesus.
Recently I was at a gathering where several disciples shared their stories. A recurring theme was the life change as a result of being loved by their discipler. Not only will your disciple never forget being pursued by you, but it will serve as a point of reference for the rest of his life. Because he has experienced the love of being pursued, he will pursue others.
Some closing lessons from the pursuit:
- Pursuing is hard work.
- Pursuing is deliberate.
- Begin the pursuit by having your disciple tell you his story.
- The pursuit of your disciple will take months. Depending on the individual it may take many initiatives before you see a response. (The pursuit often causes a disciple to face his deepest fears which he has avoided for years.)
- The experience of being pursued teaches your disciple how to pursue others.
- Parents, pursue each of your children. Children, pursue your parents. Brothers and sisters, pursue one another. Friends, pursue your friends.