All followers of Jesus have the privilege of carrying his life and light to others. One of the last things Jesus impressed upon his followers was the need to do this. In Matthew 28, Jesus tells his people to impart to others what he entrusted to them ("all that I have commanded you"). They are to embrace his teaching to the extent that they identify with him publicly and in community ("baptizing them…").
This is what Jesus called "making disciples." If this is one of the most important parts of bearing his name, then we should be quite intentional about how we live this out. There are various ways to go about this.
On the front-end, there is the reaching-out to those who haven't yet embraced his way. We are to live our lives so that they can see his way revealed in the patterns of what we do and don't do. This is our revealing Christ without words.
Then there is revealing Christ through the stories we share. Scripture goes to great length to show the unfolding drama that must be understood for people to enter into His way.
Measure of success
If one of the signs of our maturity is leading others to his way, then helping ground them in it should be a measure of our success.
One of the best measures of success in this area is this how well those we have influenced are following his way. Are they observing the commands of Jesus? Are they actively identified with him publicly and in the community?
An Even Better Measure
It has occurred to me recently that an even better measure is how well the people they influence follow the way of Jesus. So are the people we influence influencing the people around them in such a way that they become mature followers?
One of the most concrete examples is revealed in their children.Do the children of the people we have influenced come to a mature, grounded faith?
This should inspire us to pour our lives into others so they will do the same with others still (Paul's second letter to Timothy offered insight on this). Have we helped someone enter into his way in such a fashion that they are compelled to impart this way with their own children? And the others that they influence...and so on.
This kind of discipleship takes time. It requires a long view. But it can be measured in generations of faith.