Sunday, October 21, 2007

Late-night ramblings of a would-be disciple-maker

Fellow Christians,

why do we think in terms of ‘giving God our time’, when really, He made us, He made time, and He gives us just a bit of it to use for His glory? Who's giving what to who? What’s the point of living a life too busy to make a difference in God’s Kingdom?

What if…

we approached discipleship not as a classroom curriculum but a valuable relationship? Jesus lived, walked, ate, and ministered with his disciples. What would happen if we lived out our faith this way?


if we chose to share a home with a disciple, intentionally sharing all aspects of our life with them? It would be costly… maybe we couldn't spend so much time at work, pouring into a career. Less time to spend on self-fulfilling hobbies. We’d have to develop our own faith, make it worthy of sharing. Maybe get a little flexible with the definitions of “mine” and “yours”.

What if...

over dinner, we dreamed together of what could happen in our church, our community? What if we shared our God-given passions and encouraged one another to follow them shamelessly? What if, over breakfast, we prayed and devoted ourselves to living out His call? What if we cared enough to actually do something uncomfortable?

Could we...

actually equip a generation of Christ-followers to pick up their cross, let their light shine, and show a cynical world true faith not just by what they say, or how they vote, but by what they actually put into practice? Would we change the world by honoring God with more than just our lips?

(Admit it, aren’t you thinking right now: Yes! Someone (else) should definitely do that!)

It's pretty radical, I admit. Maybe even crazy talk. But as Christians, we are all commissioned to go forth and make disciples of all nations. So, if this isn't how you want to make disciples, how are YOU going to do it?


Bonnie Arnwine said...

Can you share how that worked for you and Gary when you were both working in Sacramento? ;-)

Katherine said...

As disciplees, or disciplers?

Honestly, I've never experienced discipleship anywhere near the extent I believe possible (and healthy).

During our stint in Sacramento, our first church Jacob's Well had several interns at different times. A family from the church would provide room & board, and the interns would work on various projects at the church (usually in addition to a part-time job at Starbucks). The young man who ended up as our youth pastor lived with us for three months. I can't say we shared everything, but the experience really strengthened our youth ministry team.

Our pastor there was great at equipping all people to try things for God. Some people tried things they ended up not being very good at. But the "unprofessional" atmosphere made it comfortable to try things you wouldn't have before, and develop skills you wouldn't have otherwise. And, that's how Gary got to be involved first giving announcements, then leading communion, and eventually teaching. Now, he's a pretty dang good preacher!

On the discipling side, I would meet one of our JH girls once a week after school to pray with her and help her grow in her faith. We took her & her brother on vacation with us one year. I would have loved to have had her over more, and shared more life with her, but mom kept her too busy moving in and out of different boyfriend's houses. Sigh.

I've tried to find a mentor that would pour into me that way that I did for that girl, but haven't found anyone (available) that has been interested in more than surface chitchat.

All this while we were both working full time jobs and volunteering in ministry... it's possible, but it is a lifestyle choice!

Katherine said...

So, that was an explanation of our experience thus far.

In my post, I took it to another level wondering if some sort of a 'spiritual apprentice-ship' would bear fruit in our culture.

I know that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a willing discipler of that sort. I want to say that pastors could be our role-model of this, but for some reason they get sucked into doing way more administrating than shepherding.

The other obvious question is, are there people out there that would be interested in being the disciplee in such an intense relationship? If I (or anybody) actually offered this up, would there be any takers? I do believe there would be. Not everyone, sure, but a few. And those are the ones I want to pour into.

Bonnie Arnwine said...

I've never experienced anything close to what you were describing. However, I think Geoff has experienced something similar. Before he was a christian he worked for a man that was. Everyday he started with prayer and Bible study. Then the man played christian music throughout the day and was available to answer Geoff's questions. Soon he became a believer.

I also have never had anyone pour into me. However, I have had women I have poured into. Not the way you describe. We'll meet once a week, talk on the phone, meet at parks, serve together... There's an older term for that called, "life on life."

What you are proposing is more intensive. I don't know what it would look in the Bay Area context... I have to think about it more, interesting...

Also, for the record, I was teasing g-dub on my last post ;-P

Enjoy your last days of being 29!!!