Ten years ago I started investing in a guy named Mike. We prayed together about his struggles in college. I counseled him about his girlfriend. I listened and offered coaching when he left his job and became a pastor. I prayed for him a lot. This past weekend he and his wife and two young sons came to visit us—and we spent three hours over breakfast! I was able to tell him with all sincerity, “Mike, if I lived in your city I’d be happy if you were my pastor.”
This is how discipleship works. As your disciple matures, your relationship will change. I still offer counsel, and I’ll always pray for Mike as long as I live. But he grew up! He’s a gifted leader who is making disciples on his own. The apostle Paul felt this joy of seeing his disciples bear fruit. He wrote: “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?” (1 Thess. 2:19). Keep investing. One day you will feel overwhelming joy when your disciples surpass you!