Do not be lazy, be a follower (Hebrews 6.12)
That verse is a very specific instruction for us to be followers of others. To copy others. We spoke in our first post that the foundation of discipleship is to copy others. The Bible has loads of examples of people copying others, and we can copy them! We can copy others as they copy others and get better at copying by copying others who copy well!
I want to help you develop your skills and abilities in copying others, here are some great keys to being an expert copier of others:
- Copy God! The Bible tells us to be followers of God (Ephesians 5.1). So the first person you copy is God. You look at God and look at how He loves others, how He treats others with grace and compassion. And you copy that. You look at Jesus dying on the cross, extending forgiveness to the people who killed Him. Copy that. You look to Jesus taking our place and dying our death because of His deep, powerful love. Copy that! You copy God when you walk in love! A lot of Christians do not know that you can copy God, they think they are so far away from God that is impossible, but it is not – you can love like God, you can care for people like God, you can forgive like Jesus, you can fellowship with people like the Holy Spirit would! That is copying God and you do that and you will be a disciple indeed!
- Copy the person who copies Jesus! Paul said “be a follower of me, even as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11.1). Paul told the church – copy me guys. I am a good person to copy – then he added the caveat – as long as I am following Jesus. Sadly, a lot pastors are not copying Jesus. Some are copying businessmen, some are copying motivational speakers, some are copying politicians, some are copying satan! A lot of pastors are spending the majority of their time reading books by secular millionnaires, but they should be reading the Bible more! They should be copying Jesus. But when you find someone serious about copying Jesus, do yourself a favour and copy them!
- Copy the people who copy the people who copy Jesus! In Php. 3.17 Paul says “pattern your life after my life, and learn from those who follow my example”. In other words “copy me, and copy those who copy me”. As a new Christian, I read a lot of Kenneth Hagin and it affected me deeply. I wanted to be able to teach like him and copy him. There was a small problem with me copying him – he was with the Lord. But I found out Kenneth Copeland spent a long time copying Kenneth Hagin, so I copied Kenneth Copeland copying him. Now I have a few people I know well who knew Kenneth Hagin and copied him, and as I copy them, I see myself moving into that kind of teaching and miracle ministry! You can follow me, but as the Tree of Life Family grows maybe you don’t know me that well, so copy the pastors and elders and leaders and people who are copying me.
- Copy a group of people! Paul told the Thessalonians “you became followers of us” (1 Thess. 1.6). The “us” was Paul and his team. You can copy a whole team of people, copy a whole church. You can find a group of Christians around you who all copy each other. That would be encouraging for all of you! I want to dream big like Andrew Wommack so I copy him a lot, but I also copy the preachers he knows and spends time with, I copy Greg Mohr, Greg Fritz, Jerome Fernando, Arthur Meintjes and others. It’s an “us”, and we can all have an “us” to copy – it will make us better disciples.
- Copy delegates! Paul told the Corinthians to copy him, and then said “for this reason I have sent you Timothy” (1 Cor. 4.16). Paul sent Timothy to Corinth so that people could copy Timothy and therefore copy Paul. Paul wanted the Corinthians to grow up and the quickest way to mature and catch up was copy him. He couldn’t go so he sent Timothy, because if you copy Timothy, you copy Paul and you copy Jesus. A lot of us struggle to copy a human, but that is how God set up New Testament discipleship. A lot of us really struggle to copy the number 2 guy, but that is also how God set up New Testament discipleship. A lot of times people do not grow as Christians as they will not copy a human or at the least only copy the top person in a group or organization or ministry. Anyone who is too big to copy someone is never going to grow. Anyone who is too big to copy a delegate will equally never grow.
- Copy people with faith and patience (Hebrews 6.12). When you are watching someone to copy them, the two main things you should look for is faith and patience. Faith is trusting God and patience is consistency. When I spent time with Dave Duell, he trusted God so beautifully and was totally consistent in his walk with God. That I watched over and over, and copied. Robert Maasbach is the same, full of faith and patience. It is faith and patience that gave someone the fruit you want! Do you want to learn to copy someone? Look to their faith and patience and copy that. This week I heard Riley Stephenson speak, and I like copying Riley because he gets results. As he started to talk about the power of God’s Word, I realized that Riley really really expects God’s Word to always work when you share it with people. I was watching his faith, because that is what you must do when you copy someone – watch their faith and patience and copy that. That same Scripture tells us not to be lazy when we copy people. Laziness is often why we do not copy another person. A lot of people look to the grace on my life and say “you have a lot of grace on your life”, that’s true, but watching my grace will not help you be a better disciple – watch the faith and the patience I have, that will help you be a better disciple.
- Copy your church. In 1 Thess. 2.14, Paul tells the Thessalonians to “become followers of the churches of God”. In other words, to copy the church. You need to be in a church and you need to copy the church. Study the church, think about it, look at how it does good things. and copy it!
It takes effort to copy others, I know it. It takes some time, some energy and for you to be humble and diligent to copy. A lazy, proud man will never be good at copying. But as we copy others, we become great disciples and the doors for all sorts of success start to open to us.