8 April 2011 — 8 Comments

As usual, Paul Martin got me thinking! In a post last week he proposed that the common phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do’ (WWJD) while a reminder of Christ’s actions, is actually missing the point. He points us in the direction of [youversion]John 5:19[/youversion]:

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

Paul’s got a thing about discipleship – something you realise pretty quickly when reading his blog, and he asks the question should our ultimate goal be to imitate Christ and encourage others to do the same?

Is discipleship spiritual formation where the goal is to make people like Christ? Or is the goal of discipleship to reveal the particular characteristics and qualities that a person is created with?

According to the passage we should be looking, as Jesus did, to what the Father is doing. While it may seem a small distinction, it does have implications. In our work and discipleship with others, are we simply teaching them to copy the Jesus we see in the gospels, or to live beyond that and understand the living truth of what God is doing around them?

Asking ‘WWJD’ may help us to live more the Son, but Paul suggests a better question might be WITFD: What Is The Father Doing?

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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

8 responses to WITFD?

  1. Wow Jon! You took it to the next level! Thanks for the link love.

    • Paul while I think of it, do you have any good recommendations for getting started with discipleship for young people? Books, websites, etc. Something I can refer people to which may outline a sound grounding for the discipline with some practical advice on going about it.
      That may be a tall order! Any thoughts?

      • Actually there’s not a lot out there besides curriculum, especially for teens. I am working on a book that will talk about techniques. With any luck, it’ll be out within a year. Everything else is fairly dense and for adults. Maybe we can chat sometime?

        • Hmm, Interesting. I’d love to chat further. My experience has been that when discipleship (or mentoring in the non-faith environment) does occur, it is usually ad-hoc and quite unintentional in its approach. I guess it does happen in places, but I’ve not seen anyone fully model how to disciple others (except the example of Jesus in the gospels), so a technique or guidance would be very useful.

          • It’s incredibly difficult to overlay techniques over something that is inherently organic. However, I think that there are so big clues that help us. I’m going to upload one of my talks soon, so maybe that will help.

          • Great! I look forward to that, and keen to learn more from you.

  2. I think our aim should always be to be an example and try to be more like Jesus. For me the people who have most influenced my life and made me realize i have a great calling and a purpose in Jesus have been the people who act it out. Actions speak louder then words right?

    • Hey Shaun, I agree that we should aim to be like Jesus. But the question Paul raises is should we stop there? Should we aim to be like Jesus by looking and seeing what the Father is doing? Is Jesus the end result or is he our way to see the Father through him?

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