|Grave of Dr. Jerry Falwell|
There are people in the faith that I have always wanted to be like. I know what you are thinking--We should only want to be like Jesus. This is true to a certain extent, but since I have not yet arrived at being totally Christ-like, I will make a Biblical case for emulating those farther down the path.
Paul said in 1 Cor. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. I cannot yet say this, but it is my goal to one day be able to humbly say this to growing believers.
When Elijah was about to be taken up he spoke with Elisha. 2 Kings 2:9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.
Jesus even told his followers that they would do greater things than Him (John 14:12). I believe that part of leadership is creating strong followers. We should be excited when those who come after us do even greater things.
This past week I was in Virginia. My wife and I went to Jerry Falwell's grave. I understand that he is not there, but this man was my pastor, and I owe a great deal of my faith heritage to things I learned from him. I do not want to emulate the political part of his life, but his love for his family and ability to dream big were priceless.
Jerry Falwell was a man of great faith who believed God for the impossible time and time again. It was the vision God gave him that enabled him to build the largest Christian university on the planet. He also left a legacy of three children who are actively serving God. So many do great things in the "ministry" while their family turns away. What a tragedy. I accepted Christ through the youth group in the church he founded. I am also a part of his legacy.
James 1:5 tells us to ask for wisdom. I believe that God wants us to seek Him for growth in all areas of spiritual development. Right there at Jerry Falwell's grave I asked God to give me a portion of his strength and vision. I didn't ask for a double portion because I believe the mantle of leadership was passed onto his son Jonathan. I am not at a point where I could handle a double portion, but a small helping would be welcome. Baby Steps.
I want to have great vision. I want it to be God's vision for me. And I want to work hard for what I can do and trust God for what only He can do until it comes to pass. I want my ministry to have a lasting impact, but only if my family is my primary ministry. I want to be able to tell my children to follow me as I follow Him.
There are many others that I would gladly emulate on my path to be more like Him. Here are a few: Craig Groeschel for his transparency, Francis Chan for his passion, The Prophet Elijah for his boldness, my friend Brad Newton for his joy, and my fellow youth pastor Daniel Dye for his Godly example as a husband and father.
Along our faith journey we will meet many who are further down the path. We can learn a lot from these followers. We can follow them as they follow Him. Who would you want a double portion of? Who has inspired you in the faith? Who do you follow?