When I think of the word “discipleship” it brings to mind the image of two people with open Bibles having a serious conversation about God’s Word. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that picture, in fact the Lord is burdening my heart to pursue ministries that emphasize teaching Scripture instead of building relationships. However I cannot allow this desire for teaching ministries to keep me from seeing the day to day discipleship opportunities.
God gives us almost every day opportunities to share His truth (the Gospel or a Scriptural principle) in a conversation with other people. These opportunities rarely involve an open Bible or clear teaching (“God wants you to do this”) but are used by God to clarify in a conversational style what we believe.
The problem with these everyday discipleship opportunities is they are random (unplanned) and often not even noticed because there’s nothing special about them, and our schedules are already full of activity. But if we show a willingness to slow down and notice them, God will use those opportunities for His Glory.
This morning as I put the finishing touches on my sermon for Sunday a boy from Church came by to hear a Bible story. Afterwards we went downstairs and started cleaning soda bottles that would be used for the Churches Vacation Bible School next month.
As we picked out the right bottles and washed them in a sink I started talking with him about becoming a member of the Church (he’s old enough and shows spiritual growth)…which led to a conversation about his Salvation experience. I explained how the Lord saved me at the age of five in a blue Toyota station wagon on the way to the grocery store, and asked him to tell me about how he got saved.
I do believe this young man is saved but he struggled a bit in giving me a specific testimony of his Salvation experience. So as we continued to wash bottles I clarified for him how a person could be saved.
- You must confess to God that you are a sinner (Romans 3:23)
- Believe that Christ died on the cross for your sins then rose again (Romans 6:23)
- And call upon Christ to save you from your sins (Romans 10:9-10)
I asked James (not his real name) if he had ever done this and his response was “yes I do it every night!” So as the bottle washing came to an end I told him that though a person prays to God every night they only ask Him to save them once.
Now James and I could have had a long Bible study but it probably wouldn’t have accomplished what took place as we worked together
- I was able to share my own personal testimony
- And get James thinking about his own Salvation experience (he says he remembers it but cannot tell me a lot about what happened)
- we reviewed together what it means to be saved
- and clarified you only need to get saved
This afternoon reminded me there are many organic (unplanned) discipleship opportunities like this, but many times I’m too busy doing my own work to see them. May God help us pursue times of intensive discipleship, but also look for the random discipleship opportunities each day.