I failed. There I got that out. Now to explain.
Our mission statement is “To Be Disciples and to Make Disciples”. A disciple is more than a believer. It is someone who is following Jesus and being changed by Jesus, a student of Jesus. Like an apprentice who is learning a trade a disciple will not only learn the trade but then engage in it on their own. It requires time and shared experience.
Pre-lockdowns we had various watering holes for people-time: bakeries, cafes, Starbucks, IHOP (International House of Prayer). Wegman’s was a good option because you could mix the grocery shopping in with some fellowship, sometimes by just running into people.
It’s been hard this year. We’re still seeing less than half the pre-covid numbers actually coming on a Sunday morning. But I want to focus on a group you may already be spending time with – your family (or housemates).
I didn’t grow up with any discipleship in my home so I had no example to follow. I’ve not been part of a church that was intentional about discipleship so I haven’t experienced that either. My apprenticeship happened here and there as a few people came alongside me for short periods of time. Eventually I was able to work on my “Jesus trade” more on my own. You might say I grew into it.
So how did I fail? I failed to disciple my own children. It wasn’t on the radar. Now they’re having children and don’t have the experience or the tools to disciple them. Sunday school and youth group will not make disciples. They won’t catch it from you like they can a virus. You have to intentionally make time and share your Jesus life with them.
If you have kids, take it upon yourselves to engage in discipling them. In apprenticing them in knowing and following our Lord. If you don’t have kids perhaps you can come alongside others who do or share with housemates and friends, even make new relationships.
Chad Harrington writes:
“The greatest barrier to spiritual leadership at home is fear:
We fear that we’ll do it wrong.
We fear that we don’t know enough.
We fear our own shortcomings.
We fear not knowing how to handle Scripture.
The God who expects us to lead our families spiritually also gives us grace as we grow in leadership. You don’t have to get it all right, but you do have to try. “
This article gives some simple but effective ways you can start. They are helpful for a family or a group of people. Prayerfully consider what you should do and how we can help you do it. It’s never too late to start sharing the life of Jesus with others in your life.
“While going, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”