Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Great Discipleship Experiment

Every Christian has their own passions and callings, and for me, discipleship is one of my 'things'.

I could point to Jesus' instruction to 'make disciples' as my text, but my passion really comes from two places - firstly, my own long-burning desire for someone to 'take me under their wing' and demonstrate an interest in my own journey of faith, and secondly, an amazement at how, when I've done this for younger girls, I've learned and grown immensely and have been filled with joy.

I try to read and think quite a bit about the discipleship process - what it means, what it looks like, what it could be in our current day American context. I have been encouraged and challenged quite a bit along the way by bloggers Seth Barnes and Mark Batterson as well as the book "Transforming Discipleship" by Greg Ogden.

During one of my late-night conversations with myself, I considered how Jesus did discipleship - living life with his disciples. Walking together, eating together, doing ministry together. In our culture it's so difficult to see people more than a couple of hours a week. Which is better than nothing, but a difficult context in which to really transform lives.

My mind turned to the empty bedroom in the back of the house and wondered if there might be someone looking for a mentor, willing to seek God together through the ups and downs of life. Though I prayed about it for months, the answer was pretty clear.

So, two weeks ago, one of our graduated high school students has taken up residence in that bedroom. We do devotions together in the morning, sing worship songs at night, and talk about anything and everything in between. We discuss books, life, ministry, the past and the future.

The goal of all this is to provide a context for discipling, or mentoring, in a way that just can't be done in that 'once a week' meeting. My prayer is that this student will see firsthand what it looks like for two imperfect people to chase after the Lord wholeheartedly, and be inspired to do so herself for a lifetime.

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