When I teach students how to disciple, they always get this 'deer in the headlights' look on their face, like I'm asking them to fly to the moon or something. It would be kind of funny, except it happens EVERY SINGLE TIME I teach it. Now I've just resigned myself to prepare for the look of fear, and then push right on through.
I've asked them, "Why is it so hard for you to go out and disciple someone? I mean Jesus made it pretty clear, 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit, and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the earth.' So what's the big deal? If we're Jesus followers, shouldn't we go and make disciples?"
I hear so many answers, it would make your head spin.
Well what if I don't know all the answers to the questions they ask?
I'm scared what people with think of me.
Nobody wants to be discipled by me.
What if I show someone God's love, and then I mess up?
It's CRAZY. Almost as if they want to come up with every answer under the sun to keep from going out and developing relationships with other people. But….
When I start describing discipleship, the looks fade…
The questions subside.
The fear goes away.
And they start getting it.
Discipleship isn't about going out and being a weirdo.
It's about helping people understand the world God created and their relationship to Him, and Each other. It doesn't have to look freaky. It might just be going down to the river, and showing someone how to tie flies on a fly rod. It might be a bike ride in the mountains. It may just be a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, while you catch up on their day. And then…
Just like Jesus did…
You can start using the experiences of life around you to help someone see a clearer picture of God.
I asked the kids yesterday, "In an iPod world, do you think Jesus would ask the same questions as He did to the disciples? Do you think today, he would use, 'A good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit?' Maybe, he might start talking about computers, iPods, iPhones, internet connections, video games, and the like."
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that we change the Bible in any way, I'm just trying to take Jesus' example of parable telling, common language, and relationship, and let kids see, they can develop a band of disciples too. You surely don't have to explain the doctrine of Soteriology to have someone called your disciple, at least not at the beginning.
So chill out…
Take it slow…
Go get on a river somewhere, and just start living life WITH people. The hard questions will come soon enough, and there's a time and a place to dive into deeper theology. But for the starting blocks…let's go and share God's love with people, and see what happens.
You might be totally surprised when you start living WITH them, and not AT them.
Have a great day today!!