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Making Disciples

on August 17, 2015

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This summer God has been teaching me a lot about making disciples. I’ve heard the term for most of my life, and knew it was important. But it always seemed hard to define, or do. How does one make disciples? Well every summer I’m part of my church’s Great Adventure. I’ve written about it before on my blog. And this year we really tried to emphasize making disciples.

You see discipleship is a lot harder than sharing a gospel message and pressuring someone to make a decision about it, or praying a prayer for salvation with someone and then giving them a slap on the back and moving on to the next person. Discipleship takes time. It’s building a relationship with a person, whether they have never heard of Jesus, are brand new believers, or have been going to church their whole lives. Discipleship is investing in someone’s life, showing them what’s important to you, letting them ask questions, talking about what they care about, and always pointing them back to God. There isn’t a strict manual about how to do it, but it always involves relationship.

So, I have a cool story I want to share about discipleship. I returned from college 3 years ago and after plugging back into my home church, I was asked to join the Middle School Ministry Team. I enthusiastically agreed. I was so encouraged by my own youth leaders when I was a teen, that I wanted to pass that on to the next generation. As I started, a new wave of brand new 6th graders started with me. I tried to connect with every grade, but it was cool to get 3 solid years of connecting with and encouraging, and teaching these same kids.

This summer I joined a team teaching Bible Clubs composed of mostly middle school students. One in particular had just finished 8th grade. Now I’ve been through the routine of Bible Clubs since 2003. I’ve shared Gospel Presentations, played games, connected with kids and even had the opportunity to pray with someone who believed the gospel for the first time. My favorite moment from this year’s Great Adventure starts when two young girls said, “Yes, I want to follow Jesus.”

One girl wanted to go off with the high school girl in our group, but the other didn’t know who to go pray with. There was a moment of awkward silence.

Then I smiled and pointed to the student who had been in Middle School with me for the past three years. “How about you go with him?”

The girl nodded and they went off to pray.

Later I got to hear the former middle schooler’s excited celebration. He claimed it was his favorite Great Adventure and he knew it was God who had done it. He was so happy.

And I was happy too, it felt like I had passed on the torch. Like I was saying, “I’ve done this a long time, but now it’s your turn. I trust you and know you’re ready.” It was such a joy to see a person I had invested in for 3 years celebrating God’s work and getting to enjoy something I had experienced before.

So, I think that’s a little glimpse of what discipleship is like. I hope you enjoyed the story.


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