To imitate another is viewed as a weakness of creativity. What an unfortunate thing that is. Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ,” actually Paul said, “Mimic (or imitate) me as I imitate Christ. Those who will be effective in the future find the effective and imitate their priorities, focus and traits. My golf swing is rather a mess compared to that of professional golfers. To improve, I’d need to imitate that golfers swing – even though it was not particularly comforatble to me – at least at first.
G.A. Mangun led his church to consistent prayer – I knew little about how to lead a church to prayer, so I just imitated G.A. Mangun.
Murrel Cornwell effectively taught Home Bible studies – I was not very good, so I imitated Murrel Cornwell.
Jerusalem’s children worshiped and praised Jesus because they had seen their parents lay coats before the colt on which he rode; they’d seen the palm branches wave – so the children imitated their parents in praise.
William Didway was a young man whose rocky life eventually brought him to our church. He told me how much he liked to get near me during our church prayer meetings. William said, “Pastor, listening to you, has given me to the words to say when I pray.”
Imitation . . . imitation – it is the way to “answer the how question.” Many Christians know what they should be doing and why they should be doing it – they simply don’t know “how.”
You can learn “how” to be hospitable and entertain strangers.
You can learn “how” to make sure new people are followed-up on in a memorable way.
You can learn “how” to preach to reach the lost.
You can learn “how” to make disciples out of some of the rawest converts imaginable.
This is serious. We need to ask and answer the “how” questions that deal with building effective churches. Who is someone you learned “how” from? What did you learn? Now – how will you pass it on to someone else?