If I wanted to know what was most important to you as a parent, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, big brother, big sister, or mentor, all I would really need to know was what you wanted your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, younger brother or sister, or your trainee to become when he or she grew up!
So what do you want that child that is so significant to you to be when he or she grows up? Answer it honestly! What is your "gut reaction" to the question?
The apostle Paul was very clear about what he wanted from those he led to Christ: he wanted them to become like Christ. This was his goal and he strived with every ounce of energy to reach that goal. (Colossians 1:28-29) He found himself in the pains of childbirth until this goal was achieved. (Galatians 4:19) He emphasized that this was the work of the Holy Spirit and not just his own personal agenda in their lives. (2 Corinthians 3:18) He even suggested that as we join ourselves with other Christians in ministry, we are built up into the presence of Christ in our world. (Ephesians 4:13-16)
So how does Jesus become formed in us? How does that happen?
First, we need to have mature mentors or partners who will pray for us to become like Christ, keep challenging us to live more like Christ, and are willing to be exhausted in the process of leading us to Christ as they rely on His power and grace to help them! (Colossians 1:29; Galatians 4:19) In other words, we won't run away from the challenge to be like Jesus, even if it requires very challenging things of us!
Third, we must seek to minister with other believers as Christ's physical presence in our world. (Ephesians 4:13-16) As we gather around the Lord's Table, we are reminded and re-consecrated as the bodily presence of Jesus in the world. (2 Corinthians 10:14-17) As we leave the comfort of our church buildings, we will depart with a commitment to be that presence in our communities, our families, and our work places by seeking to make Christ's presence known in loving and tangible ways.
So what you do you want your kids to be when they grow up?