A couple of months back we hired a few more people at work and it was my job to train the new cart guy. I had two days to train him. I was trained in two days, which really wasn’t enough time to learn the job. In fact there are things that I am still learning six months after I started the job. The new guy worked opposite shifts as me and I would come in a little early from time to time to see how he was doing. I would try to encourage him in what he was doing well. I would also ask him if he saw any blind spots and if he didn’t I would do my best to point them out to him without being too harsh. Some days I would come in and he’d be pretty frustrated…and I would listen because we have all been there.
This past weekend we had Danny and a few of her friends home from Bible school. They spent a lot of time together as friends and they were going to bed when I was getting up…seriously. Some of her friends left on the Saturday night but a couple were still here on Sunday morning. I was preaching at a little church nearby and the rest went to our home church and we met back at the house for an amazing meal that Bonita had made. Conversation flowed. A future pastor and I talked theology and denominations and churches.
The conversation continued on in the car as we made the two hour drive Sunday night back to TBS. He asked me if there were any recommendations I could make or books I would suggest. I was glad he asked! We were in my wheelhouse. I suggested a Bible reading plan. I suggested a few books: Grudem’s ‘Systematic Theology’, Piper’s ‘Finally Alive’, Dever’s ‘Nine Marks of a Healthy Church’ and MacArthur’s ‘Ashamed of the Gospel.’ He had a recommendation for me as well.
I listened to a good message online not too long ago about making disciples out of Matthew 28. The idea in the original is ‘as you go’ or ‘as you are going’ to make disciples.
When many of us think of discipleship we think something more formal like small groups and one-on-one Bible studies and a triad of believers from different generations getting together to study or pray or memorize Scripture and that is all good but there is also a less formal way.
Over the weekend we played ‘Guesstures’ together and ate together and did other things together but we also injected Jesus and the gospel into the conversation.
The reason I shared the opening story from work is because I think that is certainly one way that discipleship can take place. You train, you watch, you check up on, you give advice, you encourage tweaks, and you watch a disciple blossom. It’s not a one-time event or over a short period of time…it’s ongoing.
I think many of our churches have lost this focus. Sunday morning is seen as a big production in some places but little true discipleship takes place the rest of the week. Don’t get me wrong, singing together and hearing the Word preached with the body is a highlight of my week but that sermon and those truths that we sing need to be supported by the body over the rest of the week.
So my challenge for you is to think through your relationships and ask yourself ‘how is God making me a disciple through the influence of others?’ and ‘how is God making disciples through me?’