When seeking to follow Jesus into the world, we must also seek the wise counsel of other Christians.
When facing decisions about where to serve and how to follow Jesus, we must seek the input of others who are also following Jesus and who also seek to love and serve those whom others reject.
I am not going to say much about how to do this since there are so many helpful books and Bible studies on the topic already.
But let me provide a warning.
As we seek to gain the wise counsel and guidance from other Christians, we must be on guard against copying other Christians.
It sometimes seems that Christians and churches spend more time and energy following certain church leaders and churches than they do in actually following Jesus. While Jesus will lead many of us down similar roads, He will also lead different people and different church down completely unique and diverse roads that have never before been travelled.
If there is one thing that nature and history tells us, it is that God does not make clones. So we should not seek to copy the lives or ministry of anyone else.
Though scientists have just recently learned to clone sheep, the church has been doing this for a very long time.
The Church Loves Cloning
When a church or pastor becomes successful (however it is defined), we all ask how they did it. The pastor writes a book about how he grew his church from 10 to 10,000 and how you can do it to if you follow seven simple steps. Other churches try the same thing, and while some experience similar results, most fail miserably.
But those who fail rarely learn that maybe God wants to do something unique and different through them. Instead, they figure they did something wrong, and when the next church-growth fad or evangelism program comes along, they once again buy the books, attend the seminars, and send people to training.
Be Unique! Be You!
It is wise to seek the counsel and guidance of other believers, but we must never fall into the trap of believing that what God did in one church, He will also do in ours if we follow the same steps.
Learning from the example of others is important, but learning from others so we can follow what they did will always keep us from properly following Jesus.
We do not Copy Jesus
Note that following Jesus is not the same thing as copying Jesus. Just as we are not to copy other churches or church leaders, so also we are not to copy Jesus.
Frankly, it is impossible to copy Jesus, so we must not even try. Rather, just as Jesus led His disciples to do similar but different things than He had done, so also, He will lead us to do things that might be similar to what He did, but will have our own unique characteristics, traits, and shape.
Jesus is not interested in repeating His life over and over in each believer throughout all history, but in leading us to uniquely live according to the strengths and abilities that God gave.