Paul told his fellow Christians in Corinth, “I urge you, imitate me…Imitate me…” (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1). He told his fellow Christians in Philippi, “Brethren, join in following my example…The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do” (Phil. 3:17; 4:9). What would that early church have looked like if they all truly mimicked the life of the apostle Paul? How evangelistic would they have been? How encouraging? How devoted? How generous? How studious?
Now, let’s turn the tables for a moment and make this glaringly personal. Imagine for a moment that you told your fellow Christians in your home congregation at the beginning of this year, “I urge you, imitate me…Brethren, join in following my example…The things which you hear and see in me, these do.” What would your home congregation look like now, at the end of the year, if every member truly mimicked you?
How evangelistic would your home congregation have been this year if every member mimicked you? How many tracts would the church have handed out? How many deeply religious conversations would have taken place with family members and coworkers? How many friends would have been invited to worship? How many links to articles and sermons would have been shared? How many Bible studies would have been offered and conducted? How many baptisms would have resulted if everyone mimicked you?
How encouraging would your home congregation have been this year if every member mimicked you? How many cards would have been mailed out? How many phone calls would have been made? How many friendly texts or emails would have been sent? How many home visits would have been made? How many warm handshakes and hugs would have been given? How many meals would have been shared together? How many church members would have been personally contacted and built up if everyone mimicked you?
You get the idea, right? How fervent would singing in worship have been this year if everyone mimicked you? How sacrificial would the total contribution have been if everyone mimicked you? How many chapters in the Bible would have been personally read and studied throughout the year if everyone mimicked you?
The Lord’s church does need fancy programs to reach lost souls, to encourage fellow Christians, to improve our worship, to cause Christians to read their Bibles, etc., etc. No! It just needs Christians who are deeply committed to Jesus Christ! Paul could say, “Imitate me,” because he was deeply committed every day to “imitating Christ.” Are you?