Initial Steps to Discipleship 01: Learning to Copy

Curbing copying in tests, exams | Deccan Herald

Jesus told us that we need to both be disciples and make disciples. I see a lot of people today doing a lot of activity, but not doing the main thing – being and making disciples. So, in the next few posts I want to go right back to the basic, initial steps of discipleship. And the most basic of the basic steps is you have to learn how to copy someone else.

That’s all discipleship is when you take all the religious and all the theological stuff away, copying someone else. The Greek word for disciple is mathetes, which is the word for an apprentice. When a carpenter or plumber would take on an apprentice, the first thing the apprentice had to do, before anything else was watch their master, and learn to copy them.

The art of discipleship begins with copying. The art of discipleship is you copying someone else who knows more than you. Imitiation, emulation. Trying to be like someone. Doing what they do, the way they do it. Unless you look like a clone of that person you have not been a good disciple. Now there is a place later on for being your own man, I agree with that, but you have to start somewhere and this is where. You become a twin, a double of your master. There really is no other way forward.

Copying someone else is not something you need special training in, people fail to do it because they lack the character and humility to copy someone else. But when you were a child you copied others all the time, you copied speaking and walking, and running and dancing, and thinking. You did maths by copying the teacher, you learned to write by copying writing. And you learned loads as a child, you moved forward in leaps and bounds. You have never learned a language as quickly as you did as a toddler – because you were humble enough to copy others.

You know the wealthiest nations and people in the world? They are all excellent copiers. Whenever one nation did something good, the nations that copied benefitted, whether we are talking about roads, the printing press, a mobile phone network, a system of banking, military equipment and strategy. How do you catch up with people more advanced than you? Copy!

Look at nations that have only recently got wealthy – South Korea for an example – what did they do well? Copy! They learned how to copy, they made imitations. A Hyundai looks and drives in a very similar way to a Toyota because the Koreans learned to copy! They copied and copied to catch up and now they are innovating and developing and even surpassing the people they copied. But they would not be able to surpass anyone they did not first copy. A lot of us cannot be world changing Christians because we will never surpass anyone because we are not humble enough to copy someone.

Did you know Jesus encouraged people to copy him? Jesus took a bunch of wild fishermen and tax collectors and turned them into apostles leading the church into revival through letting them copy him. It was how He did everything, and so what makes us think He has changed? He is still behind copying today. Whenever Jesus wants you to know something, He brings someone into your life to copy. I needed to know how to flow in the gifts and heal the sick. Jesus gave me Dave Duell to copy. I needed to know how to pastor with sweetness and grace. Jesus gave me Robert Maasbach to copy. I needed to know how to dream far bigger than I have ever dreamed before. Jesus gave me Andrew Wommack to copy.

The art of discipleship is the art of copying. You see someone and you admire their faith, their love, their commitment, their wisdom. That connection is not by accident, it is Jesus helping you grow, and become a disciple. So, copy that person. Become a clone of them, become a replica! By copying you will catch up quickly and be able to do everything Christ has for you to do.

Think about this:

  1. Who around you should you be copying right now?
  2. What is stopping you from being a copycat?
  3. What benefits will you gain from copying that person?

Use those questions to lift your imagination and lead you forward.

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: