Most of Jesus’ time was spent investing in the disciples. And it’s a mind-blowing challenge to us all, because how well do we invest in others? We’re not rabbis. And what I believe Paul is wanting us to understand is an image that helped the Corinthian church then and us now understand what discipleship looks like. When Paul is urging the church to imitate him, he’s saying yes there is lots of great information you can get out there, but you need a father. You need to stand at my shoulder, because you can’t be what you can’t see.
1 Corinthians 4:14-17 says, “I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.”