Disciples are not born mature; in reality, many disciples never grow beyond the infancy stage of their relationship with Christ. Inherent to the journey of discipleship is the ongoing call to mature in faith. Growth in faith happens as we are mentored and as we mentor and encourage others. Christian education is the more formal way children of God are discipled in their faith. Mentoring relationships are a less “institutional” way the building of faith happens as more mature disciples become “stewards of the mysteries of faith” with seekers. Encouragement happens between more seasoned disciples and those growing, between friends at similar points in their journey encouraging each other to growth, between key teachers such as pastors and congregational leaders and students of the faith. In this process of exchange it is not only the learner who grows, but the one who mentors and teaches. The maturing disciple knows she is never finished; that the path of maturity continues to the day we exchange this life for the next. A biblical model for this process can be Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8).Part of the disciples’ job description is to pass on the faith.
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