Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Portrait of a Disciple

Discipleship is a huge passion of mine - I believe it's what our role in the Christian life is all about. About a year ago (to the day!), I posted this while imagining what modern discipleship could look like. I think y'all are due for an update.

I'll start with an excerpt from my post: "Late-night ramblings of a would-be disciple-maker"

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?

...The 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.

One year later, I'm proud to say that I took my own challenge. And every day I marvel at how God has blessed our family because of our openness.

Molly graduated from high school last June, and moved into our home immediately following our Guatemala mission trip in July (she was one of the partcipants). So, how's it been going?

Molly and I meet regularly to read God's word and pray together. No, we're not perfect at this, but we've seen great blessings come out of these times. And that's not it!

We sing praise songs together. We laugh (a lot). We challenge one another. We help her with her math homework (ok, that one's all Gary!). We discuss ministry, church, what Christian community could be. We make up silly songs. We dream about Africa, about caring for orphans in Swaziland. In essence, we're living shared life. "Doing life together", as I've heard some say.

Would this work for everyone? I think it depends. What makes it so successful here, I think, is Molly's desire to grow and to contribute. She is pursuing her relationship with God wholeheartedly, which is a beautiful thing to see in anyone.

God has placed in her a heart for missions, and has given her the incredible opportunity to serve as a First Year Missionary in Swaziland. She'll be leaving next September to serve a nine-month internship.

She will be a light in a dark place, ministering to the poor, caring for AIDS orphans, truly caring for the least of these. I am honored to be her prayer/accountability partner, supporting her from back home while she's on the field. I know that God will work through her in a mighty way, and I am humbled to be a part of it.

"The Fam-Bam"

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