“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
If we are to turn men into disciples, then we better understand some things about discipling. That’s exactly what Herb Hodges’ book Tally Ho the Fox! hones in on. Carey Bates told us on The Noble Man Podcast Episode 30 that Herb Hodges was one of his spiritual mentors. And Carey was one of my spiritual mentors. That’s what we see when we follow the model that Jesus laid out for us; a legacy that goes on to develop spiritual children and grandchildren.
First, be a disciple.
“Disciples are both the people who please the Lord and the people who will reach the world.” Bill Hull, The Disciple-Making Pastor
Jesus said, “Follow me.” Where are you going, and what are you doing? Are you striving to glorify God in your own life? The first step to becoming a discipler is to be a disciple. A disciple is not just a convert, but one who is a “committed, lifelong, learner and follower.” The good news is that this is not limited to one occupation or ministry. No matter what our family or work situation is like, we can devote ourselves daily to being students of Christ who are committed to emulating our Master.
“Disciplines are the areas of life that reveal the cost of discipleship.” Herb Hodges
We are not just looking to produce “good Christians.” Key spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading and study, worship, and serving others are crucial for ongoing growth. If we remain stagnant, we are not becoming disciples of Christ.
Become a discipler.
“Discipling is done by someone, not something. It is done by persons, not programs. It is accomplished by individuals, not by institutions.” Herb Hodges
We say it often, it’s life on life, building individuals. This is good news for those of us who do not have a pulpit to preach from each week. We need a passion, not a platform, and spiritual multiplication is the goal. Jesus served twelve men closely. It’s kind of mind-blowing how the Gospel was spread initially through the handful of men who walked with Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to other who would duplicate their efforts, to reach the far corners of the world, generation after generation.
“Tally ho the fox!” is an old hunter’s expression. Most of the time hunting dogs will act just like any other mutt… sleeping, fighting, etc. That is, until they hear the command, “Tally ho the fox!” The cry is their call to action.
It is the signal to unite for a common cause with focused energy.
Our fox, as Hodges explains it, is total impact of the total world. “This,” he says, “is Christ’s Big Fox – which he commanded his people to ‘chase.’”
He shares a story of a young lady who wrote him a letter. “I don’t know if you know it or not, but I am one of your spiritual grandchildren.” She and her husband had been discipled by a pastor who had at one time been discipled by Herb. I can’t imagine a greater legacy to leave on this earth than a continual pattern of reproductive discipleship.
I can’t imagine a better fox to chase.