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If you are going to be Jesus’ apprentice only one essential condition must be met: you must spend time with the person you are mentoring. You can’t do discipleship at arms length or through distance learning.

Most Christians don’t think in terms of this lifestyle of apprenticeship. They spend their efforts making sure they “make the final cut” by the end of the season. In many Christian settings there is a long-standing struggle with the confidence or assurance of salvation – to the point of obsession This obsession -- whether we have sinned too much, or are we good enough to achieve our destination -- becomes so all-consuming that it crowds out time, effort and motivation that would otherwise be directed at discipleship The sad testimony of modern Christianity is that one can be a Christian without being a disciple.

Football coaches can tell you immediately who they have apprenticed under. Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren has been responsible for placing dozens of coaches into all levels of football through apprenticeship.

All musical virtuosos studied under some great teacher. The Gene Nastri Music School in Everett, Washington was named after violin instructor Gene Nastri who, during the 1960’s and 1970’s, taught orchestra to hundreds of children in the Everett School district – including this author. God used this apprenticeship experience of learning the violin to take children and teach them appreciation and discipline through music. The net result was that God used a teacher to help establish character qualities that might well have been lacking otherwise.

So what is a disciple? A disciple is a person willing to be apprenticed by another person who learns what that individual is and does. The nice thing about this definition is that anyone can do it It...

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