Tag Archives: Discipleship

Church: The Forward Operating Base of God’s Kingdom

African Church. Image credit: Freeimages.com/John Gardiner

Is church just a social club that meets on Sundays? Or is it more of what the US Army would call a Forward Operating Base (or FOB)? Let’s work through that idea today.

If you’re unfamiliar with the military concept, a FOB is a temporary stronghold in the theater of operations, forward of your main base, from which you can quickly deploy to fight the enemy. It’s a miniature version of your main base that strengthens your foothold in the area. It can be very basic or very elaborate. It is typically built up to resist attacks, but it’s main purpose is not simply defensive, but rather advancement: extending control into disputed areas. It provides a protected staging area to prepare you, the soldier, to defend friendly territory and go out into enemy territory. It’s also a place to return to for needed resupply, rest, training, and maybe medical attention if a mission doesn’t go so well. But ultimately, the mission is outside the wall and concertina wire of the FOB.

What is our main base? Heaven [Heb 11:13]. What is this world? Enemy-controlled territory [Eph 6:12]. What is our mission? To go make disciples [Mat 28:19-20, 9:36-38]. Are our churches to be little outposts of Heaven? Consider the following passages:

  • Paul explained to the Ephesian church that God established some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of God’s people, for them to grow in maturity and the knowledge of the Son of God… no longer blown around by every wind of false doctrine. [Eph 4:11-14] The whole purpose for a preacher getting up on Sunday morning in front of a congregation isn’t to help them feel good about themselves and give them warm fuzzy feelings. And attending shouldn’t be about checking an obligation off your list, trying to earn God’s approval (which is impossible). It’s about equipping you with the armor and weapons needed to survive the very real spiritual battles going on every day.
  • In describing the qualifications of church leaders to Titus, Paul said that an elder in the church must hold firmly to the trustworthy message he’d received, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. [Ti 1:9 NIV] You can’t hold firmly to what you don’t know. Your encouragement will ring hollow if you have no reason to back it up. And you certainly can’t refute an opponent if you don’t know what and why you believe as you do.
  • The pastor of the church should “preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” [2Tim 4:2 NIV] This is focused training with specific objectives. Take full advantage of this training “on-base” before you need it out in the fray. People don’t like correction and rebuking, but it’s better to sweat in training than to bleed on the battlefield.
  • Paul told Titus, whom he left in Crete to oversee the church there, to “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.” [Ti 2:1] Doctrine – simply what you believe, laid out formally – is immensely important. Being sincerely wrong won’t help you in physical or spiritual matters. How can you fight for the Kingdom of God if you don’t even know about the Kingdom?
  • Paul instructed Timothy, another young pastor, that “what you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching…” and again, “the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others [2Tim 1:13, 2:2 NIV]. Teaching in the church is a serious responsibility [Jam 3:1], and woe to those that lead people astray [Mat 18:6]. But it can’t just be on the pastor; it needs to be passed on.
  • Deacons “must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.” [1Tim 3:9 NIV] Don’t stay at a shallow level. Dig deep. Grow in your knowledge of God.
  • Paul urged Timothy to devote himself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching, and to teaching [1Tim 4:13 NIV]. A church needs to keep its priorities straight. If there’s very little Scripture in your services, that should be a red flag.
  • Paul said that he was writing the Colossian church so that no one would deceive them with fine-sounding rhetoric [Col 2:4]. There’s a lot of bad ideas out there disguised as clever memes and so forth. Learn the truth so you won’t fall for the lies.
  • The recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were warned that they should’ve been teachers already, but they needed to be taught the basics again before they would even be able to chew on meatier topics. Those deeper truths were for the mature, who because of practice had their senses trained to discern good and evil [Heb 5:12-14]. If you think it’s only the pastor’s job or a Sunday school teacher’s job to teach Bible truth, think again. We should all be working toward that so that we can disciple others just we were discipled. There’s a lot of people in this world that would never step foot in a church that you may be able to help. And the words “disciple” and “discipline” aren’t similar by coincidence; a mature Christian doesn’t get that way without disciplined training, and prayer, and putting the Word into practice daily.

Do you get the impression that church shouldn’t be about simply getting together, but rather about being prepared to go out? The Bible tells Christians in almost every book of the New Testament that they will be hated, persecuted, mocked, tortured, and killed on account of bearing the name of Christ. Would you go out into a fierce battle without body armor and lots of ammo? Has any soldier ever lamented being too prepared, or bringing too much ammo? And yet, too many Christians go about their daily tasks without the shield of faith and the sword that is God’s Word [Eph 6:10-17]. A base doesn’t do any good if everybody stays huddled inside. It’s only in the soldiers going outside the walls that they can engage the enemy, take ground, and rescue people trapped by the enemy. Likewise, a church that isn’t training and equipping Christians to go outside the walls has really forgotten (or shirked) its mission. So choose this day whom you will serve, and mount up, Christian. There’s a world dying right outside our gates, and we need to be about the King’s mission.

Counting the Cost

Martyrdom of St. Matthew - Caravaggio, 1600
The Martyrdom of St. Matthew – Caravaggio, 1600

When I signed up to enlist in the army years ago, I was already a junior in college, and therefore older than most new recruits. It wasn’t an impulsive decision. Before I signed the papers, I thought through whether I would be willing to give my life in service. I went in knowing what the worst case was, and that I was prepared for that.

As Christians, we are advised to “count the cost” of following Jesus. Have you? Some of us were born into a very “comfortably Christian” culture. At least paying lip service to Christ was expected. But Christians around the world are actually persecuted for following Christ. Professing Christ in places like North Korea, China, India, and almost any Muslim country, is recognized as a serious, life-changing decision that may cost one’s physical life. If persecution came to your area, would you be prepared for the worst case? Or is suffering not what you signed up for? Voddie Baucham offers this response: “As Americans, we’re freaks of nature. We cannot comprehend Christian history, because our experience as Americans is unlike the overwhelming majority of Christian history… and the overwhelming majority of Christians today.” [1] We need to recognize there is a cost if we’re following Jesus.

When I went off to Basic Training, there was a drill where they interrupted our training to say that the Secretary of Defense had been killed on an overseas visit, that the US had moved to DefCon1, and we were being immediately shipped off to war, because everyone in the Army, no matter what MOS they signed up for, is infantry if that’s what the nation needs. We were to be on lockdown until we shipped out, and we’d be getting a crash course on marksmanship for the next couple of days. With no access to any real news of the outside world, it was entirely possible, for all we knew. What was interesting about this drill was that it very quickly revealed who had joined only for the various benefits like enlistment bonuses or student loan repayment. These were the people crying. What was even more interesting were the couple of recruits thinking they could take off running across the field and escape from the middle of a large Army base on high alert and supposedly on lockdown. They had counted the cost of enlistment about as thoroughly as they had thought through the plan to openly go AWOL in front of nearly every drill sergeant on base. This was only a drill to impress upon us the seriousness of what we signed up for (and maybe highlight who you didn’t want to trust your life to in combat), but it was still a good reality check. Have you had a wake-up call like that? Maybe there wasn’t much cost to count when you first came to Christ, but something has made you aware of what may be required of you, like reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs [2], attending a Voice of the Martyrs conference [3], reading materials from Open Doors [4],  or listening to Francis Chan’s excellent and sobering sermon on suffering [5]. Congratulations. Now you know the truth, and as shocking as it may be, even this bit of brutal truth sets you free. For the soldier that goes into battle not having accepted the worst case is a slave to fear, panic, worry, even cowardice. However, the soldier that understands the potential costs and has accepted them is free to focus on the task at hand with unreserved commitment.

This is what God calls us to. This is the heart of being a disciple, and of making disciples as Jesus commanded [Matt 28:19-20]. “Disciple” comes from the Greek word μαθητής (mathétés). If that first part – “math” – is reminiscent of mathematics, there’s a reason. That Greek root for both can be defined as “the mental effort needed to think something through”[6]. Like learning math, being a disciple requires significant investment, and hard work, and study, and submission to learning  [2 Tim 2:15]. Are we called to repent of our sin, and accept God’s free gift of salvation? Absolutely! But that’s only the first step. If that’s all God wanted out of us, He could simply take us home the second we responded to Him. Instead, Jesus called us to be disciples, wholly committed [Luke 14:26-27], never looking back [Luke 9:61-62], pressing onward [Phil 3:13-14], come what may [Eph 6:13], willing to suffer or even die if need be [Phil 1:29, 2 Tim 3:12, 1 Pet 4:12-13, Rev 2:10].

If you come to Christianity thinking God only wants you to be happy and “blessed”, you ignore the overwhelming message of the Bible, and set yourself up with wrong expectations, wrong goals, and wrong motivations for your life. Rather, His plan is to sanctify you, to develop and mature you into all He has planned for you. But as with most development processes, that requires some stretching, some straining, some molding into the final, completed shape. So recognize that there is a real cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. And as Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” [7] But also recognize that the cost, however high it may be for you, is worth it. The apostle Paul, of whom God said, “I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake,” [Acts 9:15-16] is the same man who would later write, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” [Phil 3:7-8] For Paul, the cost was his life just a few years after writing that, but he’d long since counted the cost, and found it a small price to pay in light of eternity. So where are you at in the process? Unaware there even is a cost? Haggling with God over the cost? Or settled like Paul? I urge you, then, to count the cost, count the worth, and settle the question now, in your own mind, once and for all.


[1] Voddie Baucham, “Apologetics, Holiness, & Suffering”, 2016-01-20, speaking at Dallas Theological Seminary’s Spring 2016 Spiritual Life Conference. http://www.dts.edu/media/play/apologetics-holiness-and-suffering-baucham-voddie, accessed 2016-10-18.
[2] John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, first published in 1563, may be read for free at: The Unabridged Acts and Monuments Online or TAMO (HRI Online Publications, Sheffield, 2011), http://www.johnfoxe.org. Accessed: 2016-10-17.
[3] To find a Voice of the Martyrs conference near you, check VOM’s events page at https://secure.persecution.com/events/
[4] Open Doors is the ministry of Brother Andrew (aka God’s Smuggler). https://www.opendoors.org/
[5] Francis Chan, “Is Suffering Optional?”, preached at Cornerstone Church, Simi Valley, CA on 2009-02-22. http://media.cornerstonesimi.com/media.php?pageID=6
[6] http://biblehub.com/str/greek/3101.htm
[7] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (NYC, Touchstone, 1995), p. 59.

Train As You Fight

Mark 19 GunneryLast week, I mentioned that one of the young kids in my Sunday School class had been confronted with an objection to Christianity by an atheist classmate at his school. For Christian parents, this brings up some good points to remember.

  • Prepare your kids early. I enjoyed both God’s Not Dead movies, but if you think your kids aren’t going to be facing challenges to their beliefs until high school or college, or that the challenge will just be from adults like professors, think again. Most of the boys in my class said they knew an atheist classmate or online friend. Depending on their age, challenges like that from peers may be more likely to have an impact than those from authority figures like teachers.
  • Understand the nature of the conflict. The apostle Paul tells us that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.[1] And it’s a battle for their very souls. These are high stakes, parents. Invest in your kids accordingly.
  • Recognize your part. I love getting to answer questions from kids and see them connect with ideas. But one hour a week with me or any other Sunday school teacher or youth group leader isn’t going to prepare them adequately. You can delegate some tasks to others, but your kids need you to lead the way. And fathers: it’s time to man up. The Bible actually calls for you to train up your children.[2] Too many dads are physically present but spiritual deadbeats that leave any spiritual training up to the mother. But if your kids see you sleeping through church, or finding anything else to do other than going to church, or never see you open a Bible, they’ll notice. And they’ll remember that.
  • Understand the difference between teaching and training. In my time in the Army, I experienced a lot of both. For a lot of the teaching, the memory of struggling to stay awake in hot, stuffy classrooms is all that remains. For the training, and especially the more realistic training like room-clearing scenarios, I can feel my heart rate go up just remembering it. Seeing a demonstration, or discussing tactics in a classroom setting, or reviewing historical successes and failures all have their time and place. But applying theory – putting knowledge into practice – is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. Martial arts was the same way. Joint locks in Hapkido are very nuanced, and you just don’t develop effective technique without lots of good, correct practice. Likewise for getting my pilot’s license. I learn a lot by reading, but reading about stalls just isn’t the same as pulling back on the yoke, feeling the controls start to get mushy, and suddenly feeling the plane break over into a dive!  Are you teaching your kids? Good! Now, take it up a notch and start training them.[3]
  • Train like you fight. We had a saying in the Army: “Train as you fight; fight as you train.” The more realistic the training, the more likely you’ll respond appropriately in a real fight. Training that doesn’t prepare you for what you’ll actually face in battle isn’t just a waste – it can develop bad habits and overconfidence that can hurt you in the actual fight. Your kids will face tough questions in life. Go through real-life examples with them of how they can apply Scripture to different situations they may face. You can start out with “softball” situations, but don’t stay there.[4] Stretch them. Could you blame them if they got bored with baseball if all you ever did was toss them slow-pitch softballs? Is it any wonder when they leave the church if they never see their parents addressing the tough stuff, and their youth group is more about playing games and eating pizza than learning to actually apply the Bible to the hard issues of their lives?
  • Prepare yourself. I am often impressed with the sophistication of the arguments or objections I’ve heard from young people. You can’t teach knowledge (or train for skills) that you don’t already possess. When I took martial arts, my instructor was a black belt, so he could teach any of us. As we moved up the ranks, we could teach the lower ranks because we were already familiar with what they were just learning. Don’t wait for your kids’ questions before you investigate a topic. I can answer my students’ questions (generally) because I’ve already wrestled with the question before they’ve asked it. Check out resources like J. Warner Wallace’s Cold Case Christianity (www.coldcasechristianity.com), Greg Koukl’s Stand to Reason (www.str.org), William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith (www.reasonablefaith.org), or Frank Turek’s Cross-Examined (www.crossexamined.org).
  • Be honest. Finally, kids are often surprisingly good polygraphs. If you don’t know how to address a question, the appropriate response is “That’s a great question. Let me do some research and get back with you with an answer.” And then follow up. While you may have to write down that you need to follow up, they’ll remember if you say you’ll get back to them and forget (as I found out my first year teaching).

Hopefully, this gives you a place to start your own training program with your own kids. 🙂


[1] Ephesians 6:12-13
[2] Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
[3] Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
[4] 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:12-14.

Good Investments

Apostle Paul - Rembrandt 1635We all like to make good investments. We like to “buy low, sell high” in the stock market, have a solid retirement plan, remodel and “flip” houses for profit, and maybe even sell those childhood baseball cards for a small fortune. We like to see a good return on our investment.

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy about a different, and arguably, far more important kind of investment: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”[1] I see 5 lessons to take away from this verse.

  1. Entrusting to faithful men what we have heard means first of all listening with intentionality so that we can rightly pass on what we have heard. After all, you can’t pass on what you don’t have yourself.
  2. This is no secret society or club of Illuminati. On the contrary, Christianity is the model of transparency. The things Paul wanted Timothy to pass on were not “secret knowledge” like the Gnostics professed to have, but rather teaching shared in the open with many witnesses.
  3. Discipleship is no light task. The Greek word used for “entrust” here, παράθου (parathou), means to set something close beside or before someone, or to deposit it with them for safekeeping. In fact, in some of Jesus’ last words on the cross, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit”[2], the word translated there as “commit”is the same root word. This is not a passive endeavor for either the teacher or the student. It’s an active handing over of a serious trust to the future guardians of it.
  4. Real discipleship  builds the deep roots necessary for multiple generations to follow. Notice the 4 generations of Christians mentioned in this one short verse: Paul (1) has faithfully taught Timothy (2), who is to teach faithful men (3), who will also be able (or competent) to teach others (4). Notice also that this is not describing Sunday morning with several hundred people listening to Pastor Timothy’s teachings directly, and maybe inviting others to come listen as well; this is intensive training such that those learning can then teach also. As Colonel Moore explained to his recruits in the movie We Were Soldiers after tagging their squad leader as “dead” in that training scenario, “You learn the job of the man above you, and you teach your job to the man below you in rank.” If your church’s pastor were suddenly thrown in jail, or martyred, would there be a line of mature believers ready to step up and face the same consequences? If not, think about what you can do to remedy that problem.
  5. Like money deposits, this investment should earn interest and bear fruit. Like the parable of the talents[3], God wants multiplication, but should at least to get interest on the deposit He has made in our lives. We have more ability to study God’s Word in our phones today than most pastors have in many countries, or had through most of church history. We have been given such a huge deposit of resources, will we just bury it and show God at the end of our days only what He gave us to begin with? How much judgement will we be under that we have more resources at our disposal than any other generation in history, and most of us do nothing with them? I say this not to guilt people into anything (for that motivation won’t last anyway), but rather to wake people to the opportunities at hand. Don’t let them slip by!

What are you investing in? Money that may not be worth the paper it’s printed on someday? Stocks that may crash? Houses that will deteriorate and fall (or get bulldozed for a new parking lot…)? God has a very different “portfolio” – one Paul invested in 2 millennia ago, and that initial investment is still paying dividends in the form of an unbroken line of believers, saved from their sin and granted life, thanks to those who were faithful and “able to teach others also”. Will you be one?


[1] 2 Timothy 2:2, NASB.
[2] Luke 23:46, NASB.
[3] Matthew 25:14-29, NASB.

Back to Basics

Free Body Diagrams, Shear and Moment Diagrams, & Equilibrium EquationsI took an online class this fall taught by one of the leading experts in the world on connection design. He chairs several structural committees and has written much of the reference material for connection design for 30 years. I was struggling to follow what he was doing, and some other people were too, judging by the questions being asked. He chided us – rightfully so – for having become too reliant on computers and forgetting our “first principles”. For the structural engineer, these are things like free-body diagrams, moment and shear diagrams, and the equilibrium equations. These are foundational analysis methods for us, and it’s incumbent on the engineer to be familiar with the basic principles at work in complex situations. Sometimes, we might get lost in more advanced classes because we didn’t really comprehend the basic material when we studied it. Other times, it’s a case of never using it in practice and forgetting it. But in either case, the engineer lacking in these areas is responsible for correcting the situation, whether by studying hard to learn it anew, or refreshing old memories. In a class, it might be embarrassing to not remember the basics, but on the job many tragic engineering failures were ultimately traceable to neglecting basic principles.

Likewise, Christians have “first principles” that are critical for them to understand. Doctrines about the Trinity, our sinful nature, salvation, justification and sanctification, and the deity of Christ, are not just “Christianese” buzzwords or dry, musty subjects for seminary classrooms. These are not concepts reserved for the “professional Christians” to preach about on Sundays. Rather, these are foundational explanations of what it means to be a Christian, and our understanding of them impacts our daily lives whether we know it or not.  Like my class instructor, the writer of the book of Hebrews also chided his readers, saying, “For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food.” (Heb 5:12). There is an expectation of all of us to continue growing and maturing in our faith, both for drawing closer to God in our own lives, and for being able to pass on the what we’ve learned to those we care about (which should be everyone, by the way). 

So how do we start living this out? Consider what Luke wrote in Acts 17:11 about when Paul came to speak at the Jewish synagogue in Berea: “Now these [Bereans] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.”  When you hear a preacher, do you zone out, or think about your shopping list or tasks to do later? Does the sermon go in one ear and out the other? Could you remember the main points after a few days? How can you apply lessons in your life that you don’t even remember? Instead, let me suggest taking a page from the Bereans’ playbook of intentional listening  – take notes, go home to study each day, and confirm the truthfulness of what was said and how it can apply in your life. Just like notes and homework help reinforce our academic lessons, we need to internalize and comprehend far more important spiritual lessons.

Or maybe you are striving to learn, but getting watered-down milk  at your church and left craving some meatier material to sink your teeth into. Then be proactive.

  • Seek out mature Christian mentors to learn from. They may be old with the wisdom gleaned from a long life, or they may have packed a lot of painful lessons into a short life while attending the “school of hard knocks”. Be prepared to learn in humility from whoever has something to teach you, always verifying their teaching against God’s Word. And remember, discipleship doesn’t happen in an hour every Sunday. It’s usually a long-term, committed, intensive, small-group or one-on-one training.
  • Read the classics. If there’s one benefit to our “Information Age”, it’s that many of us have more resources at our fingertips than most people throughout history have had even if they traveled to large historic libraries.  Our problems often aren’t as unique as we like to think, and you may find your question was actually answered centuries ago.
  • And above all, follow in the footsteps of the Bereans and go back to the source: Scripture. Like them, that is the standard we measure everything else against.

I say this not as a criticism of anyone, but rather as a challenge to all Christians – myself  included – to ensure we understand the groundwork of first principles that provide a foundation for an unshakeable faith.


The Engineering of a Disciple

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles smallA friend and I met up for coffee the other day and talked a lot about discipleship and it got me thinking about some parallels between the Christian act of discipleship and the process of apprenticeship in the engineering field. For those not familiar with the process of becoming an engineer, it typically involves attending an accredited college of engineering, passing an 8 hour exam in the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE exam) the junior or senior year, graduating, and then apprenticing to a practicing Professional Engineer (PE)  for a certain time (typically 4 years), and finally passing an 8-16 hour exam for licensure as a Professional Engineer. While there’s some variance from that in different states and different engineering disciplines, that middle step of being an Engineering Intern (EI) or Engineer-in-Training (EIT) is an apprenticeship and is typically an important step. This is where theory meets application, where the rubber meets the road. Formal apprenticeships aren’t as common in various fields as they used to be, but it can be a really good way to pass on knowledge and skills to successive generations. An apprenticeship to a master of a craft often distinguished a long line of masters from the average craftsmen.

What are the parallels between apprenticeship for engineers and discipleship for Christians?

        1. Both are intentional.  They are not casual engagements lightly entered into. They have specific goals from the outset and require commitment and hard work.
          1. An engineering apprenticeship has a specific time frame with specific expectations at the end of that (i.e. take the PE exam and become a practicing engineer like their mentor).
          2. A disciple should be intensively trained for a time with the expectation that they will be a discipler like their mentor.  Then at some point they have to “go into practice” on their own.
        2. Both are personal. They are typically one-on-one engagements or with small groups.
          1. A PE can’t mentor an entire class of EI’s very well. It takes commitment of time and resources. The PE should review the progress made by the EI, know them well enough to discern shortcomings and improvements, and council them accordingly, remembering that the same approach may not be applicable for every apprentice.
          2. Likewise, your preacher can’t disciple you and 1000 other people in 1 hour every Sunday morning. Discipleship is an individual investment. A sermon is just a block of instruction, while discipleship is more of a relationship.
        3. Both are long-term. Neither is a quick fix or short term process.
          1. For engineering interns, this is typically a 4 year process.
          2. For disciples, there’s no set time, but for Jesus’ disciples, it was a 3 year process.
        4. Both are developmental. Neither one should ever be static or stagnant. Rather, each is molding the person toward a future desired condition.
          1. For engineers, the EI should be taking on progressively more responsibility under the supervision of the PE, showing increased understanding of engineering concepts and a better grasp of engineering judgement, and working toward becoming a licensed PE.
          2. The disciple should be growing in their trust in God, knowledge of Scriptures, and discernment. They should grow to be a  “workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” in the words of the apostle Paul to his apprentice Timothy.
        5. Both are cyclical. They form part of an ongoing lifecycle.
          1. With some exceptions, EI’s have to apprentice under a practicing engineer before they are eligible to sit for the PE exam. Afterwards,  they will generally supervise an EI at some point in their career, thus contributing to the ongoing cycle of engineering training and the growth of the profession.
          2. Jesus’ last words to the original disciples were to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Matt 28:19-20).” Likewise, in Paul’s final letter, written to his disciple Timothy, he tells him, “the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Tim 2:15).” As my friend pointed out, in this one verse, we see four generations of disciples, from Paul, to Timothy, to faithful men, to the ones they would teach.

I think we have to each look at our lives and ask ourselves who we’re following, and who we’re raising up to take our place. Are we learning from good teachers or bad? Are we even trying to learn from somebody else, or are we each trying to go our own way? Maybe it’s time to lay down our pride and seek out a good mentor/teacher/role model, and in humility learn from them. Maybe you feel like you’re not qualified to teach anyone. But just like the engineer has experience the intern hasn’t gotten yet, the intern has experience the new graduate doesn’t have. We all have something we can share with someone lower down the chain from us and lovingly give them a hand up.