2 Tim. 2:1-2
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
As a child, the cross stitch samplers fascinated her. She would look at them up close and wonder how someone could put together all those teeny, tiny colored stitches in the perfect way to make a grand picture. Her fascination led her to learning the craft from the artist she admired, grandma herself. It was a time of bonding and learning that went well beyond the cross stitching. It was during these times that she learned what it was like for a young lady to have grown up decades earlier, and she would learn from grandma’s life lessons. Beyond that, she honed a craft that would be a thread to connect the generations. You see, the intent never was for the cross stitch lessons to end with her. The goal was for this skill to be passed down as a legacy.
When we disciple others, it can be easy to think about this single stage of teaching in a vacuum. We can become so focused on our teaching that one individual and how we make that experience move and grow that we ignore that there is not just one stage of impartation. We do not disciple to an end point. When we disciple others, the hope is that we are beginning a legacy of discipleship. As we read in today’s passage, we want to pass along the truths of God to others who will pass them along as well. We want to make disciples so that they continue to go on and make disciples themselves. This is like the legacy within a family that is passed along from generation to generation. Our teaching, our knowledge and wisdom in the Spirit, is the heirloom that survives time long after we are gone.
To understand discipleship and carry it out correctly, we must understand the broad and lasting effects that we should expect. It is like we are playing a game of pass it down the alley. As each of us comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and is discipled in the ways of the Lord, we are storing up a skill set necessary for us to then disciple others. And as we train up those people, the hope is that they will then train up others. This is God passing down his legacy from generation to generation and allowing us to have a hand in it. We are family, grafted into the vine of Christ for the purpose of moving along this heirloom. Father, we ask that You bring to us new believers who we can disciple to carry on your legacy.