Dinner time is approaching . . . rolling pin, flour, dough, tomato paste, toppings, kids scrambling to wash their hands . . . It’s pizza-making time!
One of the activities my kids thoroughly enjoy is helping me make homemade pizza. There will be two balls of pizza dough: one for me to work on and the other for the three- and six-year-old to make their own kiddie pizza, just the way they want it. We get to work and sing our five-step pizza preparation song while making silly faces.
My six-year-old understood the process before her younger brother and is always quick to tell him how to do it right. He, nevertheless, always makes it a point of duty to get some flour on his face and hair—just one of his very own steps in the pizza-making process. But the mess pales in comparison to knowing that my kids want to do what they see me doing. They want to imitate me in this interesting and rewarding task.
My heart melted the day my three-year-old—without prompting—asked for the cheese after spreading the sauce on the rolled out dough. “He’s got it!” I thought as I smiled and handed him the shredded cheese while enthusiastically inserting a “Good job!” He had watched his big sister and me do this so many times, and with a lot of practice, he now knew the drill: roll the pizza dough, spread the pizza sauce, add the cheese, add the toppings, and into the oven it goes. He was on his way to becoming a full-fledged ‘Mommy’s homemade pizza’ disciple.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a disciple is
“one who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another.”
We are all called to be and make disciples.
In Andrew’s teaching on Discipleship: The Path to Freedom, he says, “Discipleship is what is missing in most people’s lives. I really believe that one of the biggest mistakes that have been made in the body of Christ is that we have put the emphasis on evangelism and making converts, getting people just born again, instead of doing what Jesus told us to . . . Jesus didn’t tell us to go and get people born again . . . he told us to go and make disciples.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.
Matthew 28:19-20a, New American Standard Bible, emphasis added
There is no sweeter sound to the ears of a parent than the sound of their children saying, “I want to be just like you!” The same is true of our heavenly Father. He created us in His image, and part of His redemption plan is that we be transformed into His image by the renewing of our minds to His Word.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
Ephesians 5:1, NASB
Just like my kids learned to make pizza by willingly watching and helping me, you become a disciple by imitation, which comes through desire, association, observation, and practice.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him,
“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.”
John 8:31, New Living Translation
I look forward to seeing my three-year-old go on to have his own influence and impact on others. It will make all of the messy cleanups worth it. Similarly, being and making disciples of Jesus makes the precious price that He paid all the more worth it.
Get Andrew’s Discipleship: The Path to Freedom teaching to learn more. To order, go to store.awmaust.net.au/