By Ed Khouri

Dear Life Model Community,

It’s a joy to be covered in dust with you!

Let me explain.

In biblical times, many rabbis and teachers had followers. The Gospels report huge crowds listened to Jesus teach. Multitudes traveled long distances, hoping for a miracle and eagerly awaiting His words. But then, as now, there was a vast difference between followers and disciples.

Followers hang out to receive, while disciples accompany their teacher more closely. Disciples travel so close to their teacher that they become covered in the dust kicked up as they walk along the road together or sit at their master’s feet. Being a true disciple is a dusty experience!

Disciples don’t just get dirty to learn new information. The goal of a disciple is to be in a relationship with their master—watching, understanding, and practicing what he teaches. Eating and sleeping nearby, they follow him wherever he goes. Discipleship is much more than a dusty data-gathering excursion. It is a process of transformation to become like the master.

Jesus had quite a misfit and grubby crew of original followers, including fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, and at least two impetuous brothers (the sons of thunder) who were eager to see God zap the bad guys into oblivion. (If you’ve heard of the A-Team, this would have to be the Z-Team!) Yet, in 3 dusty years, the 12 disciples grew strong attachments with Jesus and learned to live out Jesus’ teachings as they interacted. These guys were not perfect. They just became dusty enough to change the world!

One of the things I love about Life Model Works is the call to help churches and ministries become places where anyone can encounter Immanuel, grow in a joyful community, and learn to become mature followers of The Master. Weakness is welcome and protected as we discover missing relational skills and grow in Him. Partnering with this ministry, you and I have the opportunity to become dusty disciples of Immanuel.

So, my friends, welcome to the grace-filled, joyful, and dusty world of discipleship! I look forward to seeing you along the road!

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